Navy controller

Heyitsryan

Newcomer
Jan 21, 2010
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So after sitting down and talking to my parents about my situation, I've decided to enlist in the Navy.Out of all of the branches of the military, I feel that it suits me the best given my current situation.

I'll have a secure spot for ATC ( asvab score was 88) and can be done within the next five years.My overall goal is to work for the FAA, and since my years in the military can be used towards retirement, I feel that this is my best option.

I've been reading up as much as I can on this forum, but I'm still a bit confused on some of the abbreviations used. I've read that in order to get a job with the FAA you need to be CTO and TRACON certified, which means that I would need to be stationed at a land base and not sent out to sea correct?

How about would I go doing that? I read that you get to pick your enlistment after a school, depending on your class rank, but which places in particular offer these certifications?

Also,what exactly is CTO and TRACON?I understand that if I'm sent on a ship that I wont be able to obtain these,but since I'm tehre for five years I was hoping that I would still get a shot at it.

I apologize for all of the questions, I'm just hoping to get a better understanding of what I'm getting myself into before I climb aboard.Thanks in advance!


Regards,
Ryan Jayawardena
 

noid

Curtis E. Carr
Jun 24, 2008
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In a van down by the river.
Just so you know, military time doesn't go TOWARDS retirement, it's added on at the end after you retire. It doesn't let you retire any earlier.

You will take the Airmen's Written Test, which is also called a CTO, at the school. This is not the CTO that is needed for the FAA. Outside of FACSFAC's, I think all NAS have towers, and some NS do too.

If you get a shore facility, when you check out in the tower, you get a CTO or Control Tower Operator certificate, upon which time you will hand them your paper with the test score from the CTO/AWT exam.
 

Heyitsryan

Newcomer
Jan 21, 2010
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What are FACSFAC's and NAS? I'm having difficulty understanding the abbreviations, so if you don't mind spelling them out please do.


So wherether or not I get a Shore facility or one on a ship is based off of my class rank, correct?

Thanks for the advice? What exactly is TRACON?
 

noid

Curtis E. Carr
Jun 24, 2008
2,024
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38
In a van down by the river.
FACSFAC= Fleet and Area Control Surveillance Facility. They work RADAR for all Warning and Restricted Areas.

NAS= Naval Air Station

NS= Naval Station

TRACON= Terminal RADAR Approach Control

RATCF= RADAR Air Traffic Control Facility (not as much airspace as a TRACON)

GCA= Ground Controlled Approach (precision approach (PAR), surveillance approach (ASR), etc.


You only get to pick from the orders that are available. In order to get the best pick out of what is offered, get the highest grade in your class. Going to a ship isn't bad, but if you do, do your best to get E-5 before you leave. It helps you with training when you get to your shore facility.
 

Roach

Rookie
Aug 4, 2009
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Ft. Worth
I was in the Navy for six years as a SAR Swimmer/Blackhawk crew chief. I got 1300 flight hours and was stationed almost everywhere the Navy is. If you got any questions hit me up.
 

sailor_pianist

Trusted Member
Jan 10, 2010
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Hey, I just had a quick question for you. I scored a 95 on my ASVAB and was still told that ATC was overmanned and unavailable, and I went to MEPS at the beginning of FSY 2010 in October. Did your recruiter say they had an ATC spot available? If not, you may be waiting on one for months. I got lucky and was able to get another DEPper's spot because she refused to ship.

Just wanted to give you a heads up.

Maybe we'll see each other at A school though, I'm also going ATC in the Navy, and leave in June.
 

Heyitsryan

Newcomer
Jan 21, 2010
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Really? I was told that there are plenty of positions available. Regardless, I'm getting the delayed deployment for a year so that I can finish my degree. Thanks for the advice everyone! :) It is greatly appreciated.

I wish there was a multiquote option,lol.
Roach: Thanks and I will hit you up very soon.
Sailor:Are you going on board first?
 

sailor_pianist

Trusted Member
Jan 10, 2010
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Really? I was told that there are plenty of positions available. Regardless, I'm getting the delayed deployment for a year so that I can finish my degree. Thanks for the advice everyone! :) It is greatly appreciated.

I wish there was a multiquote option,lol.
Roach: Thanks and I will hit you up very soon.
Sailor:Are you going on board first?

I really hope not. I'm gonna bust my a** during A school so I can get shore duty. That's really surprising to hear that your recruiter says there are plenty of AC positions available, that was definitely not the case when I went to MEPS two months ago...

hmmmm
 

sailor_pianist

Trusted Member
Jan 10, 2010
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Also, would it be wiser to just choose a sea billet right out of A school to get it over with, or would it be better to choose shore duty first if at all possible? I would hate to spend my first 2 years on shore getting certified only to have to go to a ship for the next 3.
 

MikeATC

Retired FAA, NATCA Member
Apr 3, 2009
1,230
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Nashville TN
To correct the retirement statement: Your military time counts toward your total years of Federal Service only. To have your military time add toward your retirement you need to buy back your military time. Once you get into the FAA they will explain this to you.

Congratulations and thank you for deciding to serve in the military,
 

imovemetal

Newcomer
Jun 16, 2008
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Virginia Beach, VA
Yes go to sea first. As an E-1 - E3 your at the bottom of the totem pole for training at NAS's. Go to sea, make E5, get the crap duty over with then go to a Navy Approcach control facility. All of the navy approach control facilities are up / down facilities. Meaning you can get tower (CTO) and TRACON. As for graduating top in "A" school. Wise idea, you can be meritoriously promoted, but there are not always shore duty billets available either. Go to a carrier, it's the only sea duty thats respected by other AC's. No offense if any gator sailors here but, it's the truth.
 

TrevDog

Newcomer
Apr 23, 2010
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Arizona
... Go to a carrier, it's the only sea duty thats respected by other AC's. No offense if any gator sailors here but, it's the truth.
why is that? too easy or not as intense? smaller ship?

Also, I've read that ship time doesn't "count" toward the FAA at they talking about toward a CTO?
 

sailor_pianist

Trusted Member
Jan 10, 2010
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why is that? too easy or not as intense? smaller ship?

Also, I've read that ship time doesn't "count" toward the FAA at they talking about toward a CTO?

Hi Trevdog!

Ship time on the Navy doesn't count toward the FAA, but an AC has a sea/shore rotation of 2 years (either sea or shore) then the remaining 3 are either sea/shore to complete your 5-year commitment. So if you choose sea duty first, you'll work on a ship as an AC for the first 2 years. The remaining 3 years will be spent working on shore. If you go to a ship first, you'll have time to make rank so that your training will be easier when you get to your Naval Air Station. I'm going in as an E-3 as well because of college. I also chose the Navy for the reasons you listed in your other post (college loan repayment etc). I would personally like to spend more time ashore than at sea, so going to a ship first might be the best option for me. I have heard though that if you choose shore duty first, you may be able to get it extended for the rest of your enlistment. I don't know how often that occurs/is approved though, so it's a crap shoot.
 

coopfam91

Newcomer
Dec 28, 2008
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Honolulu, HI
I'm getting ready to retire from the best rate in the Navy (AC). I started out on shore duty (NAS Moffett Field) got a CTO, next was TACRON 11 (was in country Somalia), NAS North Island (FWS), USS Bonhomme Richard (Watch Officer/AATCC Sup) and now at MCAS Kaneohe Bay (FWS). Nothing wrong with Gator Navy, Gator and CV AC's are always in dissagreement as to who's best. I recommend doing both platforms, it's a well balanced career move. Going to a ship first, I don't recommend, you'll usually be spending time in the galley and then maybe a final qual if your really motivated as an ACAN. I've seen very talented AC3's pull off a tower ticket at their first shore station, I did. Of course this probably won't happen at NAS Whidbey Island or Lemore. Bottom line, stay in the books, stay motivated to train and demonstrate your knowledge the first chance you get. Good luck!
 

Novo48

Newcomer
Jul 22, 2009
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I also agree with coopfam.. go straight to shore duty.. the navy is cutting costs and keeping sailors at shore to usually 5 years, which is plenty of time to get a cto, or radar qualification, if the faa opens that up again. i just left lemoore, and plenty of first timers got their chance at the tower. you just have to be very motivated and prove you're worth the effort. if you get shore duty right off the bat and they give you 3 year orders to a full facility like lemoore, or whidbey then you can always request/hope they extend you for the other two. they have been extending almost everybody because it costs the navy more money to pay for travel. first and foremost. Make sure you study for your E-5 exam(considering E-4 is basically given to us) because E-5's get first shot at everything
 

sailor_pianist

Trusted Member
Jan 10, 2010
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Do you have to go to certain facilities to get extended? I don't quite understand how the extension works? Do they have to be undermanned in order for you to get an extension?
 

yankeeoscar

Rookie
Jan 7, 2010
58
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KNEL
Just to clear shit up for what counts from an aircraft carrier...

Final DOES count, its the only qual that the FAA recognizes from a carrier. As long as you don't suck, you should be able to pick that one up.

DO NOT go to shore duty first if you have that option. Go to a carrier, a CVN (not an LHA LHD LTG), get Final at least, THEN go to shore duty and pick up an Approach Ticket or a CTO.