Air traffic control and airfield operations are vital within Army aviation. Posing demanding and hazardous challenges, an air traffic service battalion’s responsibilities of providing constant watch over aircraft never ceases.
The 2nd Battalion, 111th Aviation Regiment, with its advanced communication and observation technologies and equipment, is a far cry from the controllers that preceded them.
Hailing from the Florida National Guard, the “Overseers” Battalion arrived at Fort Hood ready to wrestle the many post-mobilization requirements and validation necessary to embark on their mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from Afghanistan and Kuwait.
The unit completed rigorous training under the watch of 166th Aviation Brigade, First Army Division West, in conjunction with the Air Traffic Services Command from Fort Rucker, Ala.
During their culminating training event at Longhorn Auxiliary Airstrip and Landing Strip 12, the battalion illustrated a steadfast resolve and expert capability to assume the senior airfield authority and become the controlling agency for all North Fort Hood flight traffic.
Working in concert with rotary wing aircraft and aviators from both the 166th Aviation Brigade and 2nd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, as well as fixed wing support from Air Traffic Services Command’s “Freedom’s Voice” element, the battalion seamlessly marshaled aerial traffic.
The Overseers conducted more than 600 aerial movements and responded to numerous simulated emergencies, demonstrating unparalleled aptitude in their profession.
The 166th flew 93.5 accident-free rotary wing hours and were able to facilitate safe training to simulate many of the scenarios the battalion could encounter during their deployment.