Army ATC: best locations for experience

vsatc

Newcomer
Nov 8, 2012
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New England, USA
Hello,
I am going to be Army ATC. I have not begun AIT. I will be at AIT in Alabama (Fort Rucker). I am getting the idea no one gets to pick where they will end up. However I would like to know where are the army locations I should be looking out for. I mean which bases (if I ever get to pick) should I be selecting based on where am I going to get the best/most ATC training/experience.
For example I have heard the army base in Hawaii is a good pick because it has tower/radar/and some other ATC thing. So it makes it a great place to get all the training an ATC needs. Thank you
 

flybyfive

Senior Member
Jul 23, 2011
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The Army doesn't allow you to pick. Ft Campbell, Ft Rucker, and Ft Hood are the predominant choices. Korea is also a frequented duty spot
 
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planetalkerkp

Senior Member
Jun 15, 2008
190
1
18
Alabama
Army active duty ATC is almost exclusively tactical. That means you go to a battalion and get to control traffic during exercises and deployments to Afghanistan. There are exceptions. Germany, Korea and Ft. Rucker towers are the only places that active duty get to routinely control traffic. Sometimes active duty get to be assigned temporarily at stateside Army ATC facilities and you may be able to get your CTO that way and maybe some radar quals as well.
 

gims

Senior Member
Mar 7, 2010
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California
Im an Army civ and the active duty guys get screwed. They will find them bullshit busy work before they will let them come get ratings and experience.
 

meanjoe

Trusted Member
Apr 23, 2011
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It's pretty tough to get a legit cto as an active duty soldier. We train 1or 2 per year in the tower, never in approach, and most don't get through the training program because they keep getting pulled to do other shit. They'll send a few to the approach to get training on the par but they don't actually get certified, not that a par rating would help at all.
 

vsatc

Newcomer
Nov 8, 2012
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1
New England, USA
Thank you for all the information.

gims I was wondering what type of BS busy work that would be. I'd like to know any and everything related to what an ATC experience in the army is like.

DOD_ATC I'm not eneough of an army insider to get the joke lol. Does that mean there are no best locations?

flybyfive the forts you listed what did you mean by "predominant choices." Most ATC people end up there? or they are good places to go as an ATC?

Thanks again!
 

riceroni87

Senior Member
Dec 2, 2012
250
2
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Milwaukee
Working the motorpool. PMCS your tactical equipment such as the TAIS, TTCS, 7A, and/or ATNAVICS. Depending on what your assigned to.
 

atcas

Newcomer
Sep 16, 2012
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IMHO: GRK, GTB, HOP, and SVN. As others have mentioned, whether you would be able to receive fixed-base training is a different story.
 

turbovela

Junior Member
Aug 17, 2009
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Army active duty ATC is almost exclusively tactical. That means you go to a battalion and get to control traffic during exercises and deployments to Afghanistan. There are exceptions. Germany, Korea and Ft. Rucker towers are the only places that active duty get to routinely control traffic. Sometimes active duty get to be assigned temporarily at stateside Army ATC facilities and you may be able to get your CTO that way and maybe some radar quals as well.
Germany, Korea and Ft Rucker are the best spots, like stated before. Everywhere else is pretty much tactical, although a friend of mine managed to get a CTO out of Ft Hood, got to work some magic with command and what not tho. He also was a SSG. Good luck in the Army.

The Army does not allow you to pick where you want to go, but you can volunteer to go certain places, or you can work sonething out with your branch manager. If you have not signed a contract you can have a pick at first duty station, and it should be in your contract.
 

riceroni87

Senior Member
Dec 2, 2012
250
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Milwaukee
Germany, Korea and Ft Rucker are the best spots, like stated before. Everywhere else is pretty much tactical, although a friend of mine managed to get a CTO out of Ft Hood, got to work some magic with command and what not tho. He also was a SSG. Good luck in the Army.

The Army does not allow you to pick where you want to go, but you can volunteer to go certain places, or you can work sonething out with your branch manager. If you have not signed a contract you can have a pick at first duty station, and it should be in your contract.
Yup you can get lucky. I managed to get a CTO at Hood as well (KHLR). Other wise you will most likely get one overseas. I know now you can get a CTO in Afghanistan now unlike before.
 

flybyfive

Senior Member
Jul 23, 2011
246
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The problem w Army ATC is lack of training, lack of quality of traffic when given training, and DOD owning the CONUS airfields. That being said, there are still ways to make the Army work to your advantage. Picking duty stations during re-enlistment, working hard to show potential, and keeping your nose clean can work wonders. Honestly, at this point you should focus on making it through Bct an then AIT.

Those duty stations I mentioned are the places soldiers were heading out of training at the time I went through
 
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Filth

Newcomer
Sep 17, 2012
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My first 2 years in the Army, I got really good at police call (picking up trash) and ruck marching. I went to Iraq in 2005, and got a cto there. Iraq is gone now, as will be Afghanistan next year. I consider it a miracle that, I got a cto and now have a class date for the FAA acadamy. With this being said, my advice is to join the Navy, pray to get shore duty, and get out. The Army is completely Inept when it comes to aviation.
 

RollTide

Junior Member
Aug 12, 2009
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Sadly, most of the information you are getting is true. I was an Army controller, now work as a DoD controller at an Army facility that no longer employs soldiers at all, and am currently waiting for an interview with the FAA for Indy Center. If you are already commited to the Army, you best bet is to hope for a couple of the places already mentioned. I was a soldier in Hawaii, and can tell you there is a very slim chance if you go there you end up with a CTO or any other rating that would be useful. You would most likely end up in the tactical unit and like others have said be in motor pool prepping and maintaining your equipment or getting ready for deployments. Worst case scenario you do your time and when you get out hope you qualify for a VRA announcement. Good Luck!
 

vsatc

Newcomer
Nov 8, 2012
6
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1
New England, USA
Thanks for all the great information! Germany sure sounds like a dream location for me. But I looked up the army bases and there are many! Where do I need to ask to go specifically? Would that be Campbell Barracks in Heidelberg, Germany?

While I'm at it. I'll be shipping out for basic soon and I know at that point I sign the final contract. So I was wondering if anyone knows anything or has heard stories about what to ask for. I'm thinking there really isn't anything I can ask for. Is there anything I can even ask for. Can I ask to get CTO or radar quals/ratings in my contract?

Thanks again!
 
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john

Rookie
Feb 1, 2011
25
0
1
Unfortunately you cannot ask for a CTO or Facility rating in your contract. As it has been stated before you may be able to get them to put a first duty station in there also ask to get Airborne if you can! I just finished the training at Rucker in October. When you get there you will make a "wish list" of preferred duty stations. Egypt or Honduras are also good overseas assignments. I have a few buddies that are there and they will get rated at their facilities. If you end up somewhere that you wont get a rating, I would recommend looking into CTI schools after your contract is up if you will be under 25 when you get out. Most only take about 2 school years and your chances of getting hired CTI with Vet Pref is the best shot to get into the FAA. If thats what you want.
 

ewanobeach

Trusted Member
Aug 24, 2011
387
1
18
FAA purgatory.
Thanks for all the great information! Germany sure sounds like a dream location for me. But I looked up the army bases and there are many! Where do I need to ask to go specifically? Would that be Campbell Barracks in Heidelberg, Germany?

While I'm at it. I'll be shipping out for basic soon and I know at that point I sign the final contract. So I was wondering if anyone knows anything or has heard stories about what to ask for. I'm thinking there really isn't anything I can ask for. Is there anything I can even ask for. Can I ask to get CTO or radar quals/ratings in my contract?

Thanks again!
IDK how the Army works but my sister had a location guaranteed in her contract (USMC), and when I went through Pensacola your pick of orders was based on your grades after extenuating circumstances. Like the poster above, I don't know if your heart is totally set on the Army, but maybe you would want to consider USMC/Navy over Army. There is more than one type of duty that will get you a rating that qualifies you for the VRA announcements. TACRON kids can go TDY to facilities that can get you a CTO, FACSFAC ratings qualify you (San Diego, Hawaii, and VA), and of course tower facilities will as well.