Ask A Military Controller

admin

Administrator
Staff member
Jun 11, 2008
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StuckMic has introduced a new section in their series of "Ask" Forums.

We have gathered current military controllers that have an in depth background in air traffic control for each branch of service. Please use this resource responsibily as these representatives are volunteering their time to help this community out.

Ask A Military Controller - Air Traffic Control - ATC - Aviation
 

wippster

Junior Member
Jul 6, 2010
78
0
6
Norfolk
20 year Navy vet here working DOD in Hamtpon Roads. My question to controllers is what is proper phraeseology for FAST a/c takeoff?
 

keithkeys

Trusted Contributor
Feb 13, 2009
673
1
18
Somewhere out There
Not sure if its different in the military, but in the FAA its "AAL210, runway 4L , NO DELAY, cleared for take-off." or "AAL210, runway 4L, cleared for immediate takeoff, traffic on a 3 mile final."
 

WatchThis

Trusted Contributor
Apr 29, 2010
561
0
16
Arizona
Change to Departure.

As far as what order to give it in the takeoff clearance, I've heard it done many ways.
 

wippster

Junior Member
Jul 6, 2010
78
0
6
Norfolk
yeah me too. Reason I'm asking is the ATM is directing everyone to do it his/her way and noone agrees. It's a common sense thing. You probably shouldn't say "change to departure" at the beginning of a clearance.
 

vm2152

Senior Member
Sep 10, 2008
227
0
16
yeah me too. Reason I'm asking is the ATM is directing everyone to do it his/her way and noone agrees. It's a common sense thing. You probably shouldn't say "change to departure" at the beginning of a clearance.
I don't live in the fighter a/c world anymore but I in fact I all ways did it at the beginning of my transmission. That was just the way I did it as a personal technique. Yes I've heard this arguement before, if you tell him to change... he'll change (right then.) We would be living in fantasy world if the a/c really just instantly changed without you completing your transmission and without a pilot response.
 

WatchThis

Trusted Contributor
Apr 29, 2010
561
0
16
Arizona
As a practical matter, pilots are not going to switch before they get a takeoff clearance and additionally won't switch until they hear the end of the transmission. It's easy to test though. Deliberately do it one way for a while and then the other. I don't think you'll see any difference in results. The pilot will wait for the end of the transmission, acknowledge the clearance, and then switch.

Sup JB, I think I worked with you for a while in San Diego. RF.
 

meagarunt22

Junior Member
Jul 15, 2010
133
0
16
BFE, NM
It's runway, wind, cleared for takeoff change to departure. Doesn't make sense to me either to read the frequency change first. Then they might change after hearing the clearance and not hear a traffic call or some other imortant info. Sometimes our guys will remain on freq until the end of the runway depending on their comfort level, but usually they read back the clearance and then change freqs.
 

vm2152

Senior Member
Sep 10, 2008
227
0
16
As a practical matter, pilots are not going to switch before they get a takeoff clearance and additionally won't switch until they hear the end of the transmission. It's easy to test though. Deliberately do it one way for a while and then the other. I don't think you'll see any difference in results. The pilot will wait for the end of the transmission, acknowledge the clearance, and then switch.

Sup JB, I think I worked with you for a while in San Diego. RF.
Hey,

Is this Battling Bob? How goes it?
 

quicksilveer11

Newcomer
Dec 21, 2010
3
0
1
HI,

I am 24 and desperately wanting to become an ATCer. I'm contemplating joining the military, but do I have enough time?
I hear the AF is my safest bet in that I will have my needs met and most likely have a guaranteed job with the FAA when I get out. Do you know which branch is best for getting a civilian job with the FAA, and which branch offers the shortest enlistments?

Thanks,

Neema
 

Salkadi

Rookie
Jun 1, 2011
32
1
8
I'm not an expert per se, but I don't think any branch is better in regards to getting a civilian job with the FAA.

However, Marines or Air force will probably be your best bet. A lot of Army facilities are contracted out or done by civilians. In the navy, there's a chance you'll get stuck on a ship.

Marines require a 5 year enlistment and the Air force requires a 6 year enlistment for ATC.
 

StrangeBrew

Rookie
Jul 20, 2008
33
0
6
Chapel Hill, NC
HI,

I am 24 and desperately wanting to become an ATCer. I'm contemplating joining the military, but do I have enough time?
I hear the AF is my safest bet in that I will have my needs met and most likely have a guaranteed job with the FAA when I get out. Do you know which branch is best for getting a civilian job with the FAA, and which branch offers the shortest enlistments?

Thanks,

Neema

This is a sticky, not a forum. Try posting your question in the "Ask A Military Controller" Forum.

But, the Navy also requires a 5 year enlistment. Shipboard experience does not count toward "52 weeks of consecutive ATC experience" as required for VRA apps, so make sure you visit a shore-based Naval Air Station.

Also, with the Marines, you would select the Air Traffic Controller / Air Support job group. It also includes Air Control Electronics Operator and Air Support Operations Operator. You're not guaranteed to be an ATCS. You sign up for the Marines to be a Marine.
 

mikecoyne34

Senior Analyst
Nov 19, 2009
827
0
16
D10
Find a AF guard unit that offers ATC. Enlist, go through your training and try to get a deployment. That should give you the time you need for the FAA, or at least be close to it. Plus, last I heard the guard gives sign bonuses for ATC.
 

SSgt Young

StuckMic Marine Corps Liaison
Jan 21, 2010
386
1
18
39
Arizona
This is a sticky, not a forum. Try posting your question in the "Ask A Military Controller" Forum.


Also, with the Marines, you would select the Air Traffic Controller / Air Support job group. It also includes Air Control Electronics Operator and Air Support Operations Operator. You're not guaranteed to be an ATCS. You sign up for the Marines to be a Marine.

Not entirely true. There is a study out to screen our candidates better. Along with that, there will be an option for qualified people to have ATC as a guarantee in their contract.
 

SA_Indian

Junior Member
Jan 31, 2011
112
0
16
USA
HI,

I am 24 and desperately wanting to become an ATCer. I'm contemplating joining the military, but do I have enough time?
I hear the AF is my safest bet in that I will have my needs met and most likely have a guaranteed job with the FAA when I get out. Do you know which branch is best for getting a civilian job with the FAA, and which branch offers the shortest enlistments?

Thanks,

Neema
Short enlistment doesn't always equate to the appropriate ratings. You want enough time in to get a CTO or TRACON rating and still meet your other military obligations (deployements and such). The USMC requires you to get a major rating within the first 3 years...this is good news if that is your goal.
 

GIN

Newcomer
Jan 1, 2011
7
0
1
I am currently 38 turning 39 in January. Former ATC at N90 and ELM and have been out of the FAA since 2003. After many years in business for myself and experience what my wife is calling an early mid life crisis, I am longing to return to ATC but this time in a way that I have wanted to since 18; in the US Military. Do I have any options at this point in life? Thank you in advance for your response.
 

AF_ATC

Trusted Member
Nov 20, 2009
477
6
18
I Previously working at a fighter base, and it was always, "Rwy XX, wind 230@05, cleared for takeoff, change to departure.

Why would you say, "Change to departure" first? Before handing someone off you wouldn't say, "Contact Columbia Approach 126.5" followed by "Traffic twelve o'clock 5 miles....." As soon as you say change to dep, that pilot is going to push the freq toggle switch and assume he's cleared for takeoff.
 

ccraft1987

Rookie
Oct 12, 2012
67
0
6
I Previously working at a fighter base, and it was always, "Rwy XX, wind 230@05, cleared for takeoff, change to departure.

Why would you say, "Change to departure" first? Before handing someone off you wouldn't say, "Contact Columbia Approach 126.5" followed by "Traffic twelve o'clock 5 miles....." As soon as you say change to dep, that pilot is going to push the freq toggle switch and assume he's cleared for takeoff.
Same as we used at NAS kingsville, all T-45 trainers thus falling under FAST. Runway, wind, clear for takeoff, change to departure. For landing it is wind, runway cleared (for the option)