MacDill Air Traffic Control Tower Honored as Facility of the Year

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Michael Killian
  • 6th ARW Public Affairs

In a display of exemplary performance and unwavering dedication, the 6th Operations Support Squadron's Air Traffic Control Tower at MacDill Air Force Base was distinguished as the Air Traffic Control Facility of the Year. This prestigious award celebrates the tower's superior air traffic control capabilities, overseeing 23 thousand aircraft sorties and securing over $1.6 billion in assets, demonstrating seamless operations while ensuring the utmost safety and efficiency in managing the skies.

The journey to this achievement was no solo flight, it was the result of every personnel within the tower working in unison. Their work, integral to the operations of MacDill AFB and beyond, ensures the safe passage of numerous aircraft, from advanced fighter jets to vital cargo planes.

"This award is a reflection of the hard work and teamwork of every individual in the tower,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Jantzen Scott, a 6th OSS air traffic control trainer. “It was all of our efforts combined throughout the entire year.”

Throughout the past year, the squadron has faced numerous challenges, including managing several high-profile exercises. Their efforts have been instrumental in the successful handling of a wide range of aircraft, from fighter jets like the F-16 to every heavy aircraft in the Air Force's arsenal, as well as international jets.

The tower's operations are a testament to the enduring spirit and dedication of its personnel, who have consistently gone above and beyond, especially during times of low manning.

Perhaps one of the most crucial elements of this team’s mission is training the next generation of controllers. Marked by a rigorous and stress-tested environment, training highlights the importance of developing effective communication skills and teamwork. These foundational aspects ensure that each new controller is not only competent but excels under pressure, contributing to the tower's overarching goals.

"We're going to train our trainees to work in that type of high-stress environment,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Robert Minor, a 6th OSS chief controller, tower. “We aim to make the next generation better than the last."

This recognition serves not only as a celebration of the past year's achievements but also as motivation for the 6th OSS to continue their pursuit of excellence. As they look to the future, their commitment to safety, efficiency and teamwork remains unwavering, setting a standard for air traffic control facilities across the Air Force and beyond.