Military to FAA Without a CTO

lowapproach

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Oct 29, 2010
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Yes, they train to a facility certification in either a tower or radar approach control/GCA, and flight plan entry into the FDIO is done by the airfield managers in charge of base operations. You have to be an E-4+ to be a watch supervisor in the tower cab or radar room, but otherwise an E-3's certification requirements are the same as an E-7's.
 

planetalkerkp

Senior Member
Jun 15, 2008
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Ok, in the Navy you are not facility certified unless you get qualified on all operating positions in the facility (tower, radar and flight planning).
E-3's usually are required to get GCA and flight data, ground and flight planning. E-4, E-5 fully qualified in flight planning, and then fully qualified in either tower or radar (at approach control facilities) and E-6 and above have to become fully qualified in all branches and Facility Watch Supervisors. Of course these are minimum qualifications and are adjusted for smaller facilities. Some E-3's come in and blow the whole facility away and become fully qualified and some E-6's have never been to an approach control facility or a busy tower and can't cut it and they are then told to find another job. A lot of times in the Navy we had to prioritize training time. So if we had several trainees for Local, we had to give the premium training time to the most promising trainee and that cost the junior sailor. With a 3 yr rotation we always had a multitude of trainees. For every E-3 in the Air Force to become either a local controller or an approach controller at their first duty station is pretty good, but i guess if you got assigned to radar you probably didn't have a chance to get a CTO?
 

lowapproach

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Oct 29, 2010
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Not typically, no. The only people required to hold a CTO and RAPC are the CATCT, who is in charge of maintaining the training program, and the CSE, who is in charge of performing certifications. Usually those guys are middle-seniority NCOs.

Different strokes for different services, but I feel like the Air Force way gives you more opportunities for experience separating airplanes (Local/Approach/Arrival), earlier in your career. And it also sets you up sooner for the qualifications the FAA cares about.
 

planetalkerkp

Senior Member
Jun 15, 2008
190
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Alabama
Not typically, no. The only people required to hold a CTO and RAPC are the CATCT, who is in charge of maintaining the training program, and the CSE, who is in charge of performing certifications. Usually those guys are middle-seniority NCOs.

Different strokes for different services, but I feel like the Air Force way gives you more opportunities for experience separating airplanes (Local/Approach/Arrival), earlier in your career. And it also sets you up sooner for the qualifications the FAA cares about.
Oh, so even the senior controllers only get qualified in one branch? A Navy facility expects all Chiefs (E-7/8) and E-6's to be qualified on every position in the facility (FWS). It's not restricted to that and a lot of E-5's and some E-4's will get it as well. Every once in a while a guy right out of school will make FWS but that is the exception. A lot of E-3's will get local qualified and some will get approach qualified, and a lot get arrival and GCA but it is not required of them. I'm not trying to argue, it just seems we are kind of talking about apples and oranges.