Hunter Army Airfield, Ga. – Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Aviation, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade became the first air traffic control operators in the Army to use the AN/MSQ-135 Mobile Tower System, or MOTS, during two weeks of ongoing training.
The Knighthawk Battalion will be the first unit in the Army to field the MOTS when they become available, said Pfc. Christopher Jordan, an air traffic control operator participating in the training.
The MOTS replaces the AN/TSW-7A, a model first introduced in the early 1980s. With the upgrade comes touch-screen interfaces for the system’s computers, data transfer speeds faster than 4G, and temperature-sensitive, computer-controlled windows for visibility in all climates.
The new system includes a vehicle-born air traffic control tower with organic power generators, a medium intensity solar powered airfield runway lighting system, and meteorological sensors.
David Foster, Jr., a new equipment trainer from Computer Sciences Corporation and MOTS specialist, said the system is designed for a quick set-up and start of air traffic control operations, and to provide services, including sequencing and separating arrivals and departures, coordinating instrument meteorological condition recovery of aircraft, coordinating in-flight emergencies, and search and rescue missions.
Private First Class Jordan said he was excited to work with this newest piece of aviation technology.
“I’m looking forward to operating the MOTS in the field,” said Pfc. Jordan. “The technological advancements, the additional safety features and comforts of the cabin - they’re only making my job better.”
SAVANNAH, Ga. – Eight flight medics from the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Aviation, became the first Marne Air medics to graduate from the Rescue Training Inc. paramedic course Dec. 9 in a ceremony at the Rescue Training building.
The flight medics completed the course, designed for year-long study, in only five months.
The course covered topics in pharmacology, medication administration, airway and ventilation, cardiology, trauma treatment procedures, burns, shock, ethics and others. In addition to classroom time, the medics each put in a minimum of 356 hours of clinical application.
“That means, any time you were in Savannah and heard the ambulance sirens going, one of our guys was probably on that truck,” said Maj. John Goette, a Knighthawk medical officer who spoke at the ceremony.
Colonel Allan Pepin, commander of the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, and Lt. Col. Michael D. Higginbotham, 2/3 AVN commander, both offered their congratulations to the graduates on completing the rigorous course in less than half the time prescribed.
Sergeant Howell Pugh, who won an award for Best Medic for his overall performance throughout the course, said the experience would have long-range benefits, both on and off the battlefield.
“This course increased our tactical ability to respond to injuries downrange, and we’re all excited to be able to better aid our fellow Soldiers,” said Sgt. Pugh. “Plus, having this certification can help, not just me, but all of us who graduated, if we want to work on the civilian side.”
Major Goette echoed that statement in his remarks, and said we can all feel more secure in the hands of these highly-trained professionals.
“As the need for a new breed of flight medic increases every day in places like Afghanistan, these ‘Dustoff’ medics will be out there to answer the call and will not stop until they have your wounded,” said Goette.