Standing up a transportable air operations tower (TAOT) at RAAF Base Scherger represented a significant milestone for air operations, as units under No. 44 Wing control delivered a new level of bare base capability during Exercise Talisman Sabre (TS21).
CAPTION: Leading Aircraftwoman Rebecca Hay and Corporal Thomas Geraghty raise the transportable air operations tower at RAAF Base Scherger. Story by Flight Lieutenant Nick O’Connor. Photo by Corporal Brett Sherriff.
As part of a one-team approach, units from Edinburgh to Darwin deployed north to establish a cohesive mobile air operations team (MAOT) to deliver air traffic services at the Far North Queensland base.
Senior air traffic controller Squadron Leader Adam Wilson said for the first time MAOT controllers and technicians provided the same level of air traffic control from the bare base as any airfield in Australia.
“It’s quite a milestone to prove we have this capacity,” Squadron Leader Wilson said.
“We provided a full air traffic control service out to a distance of 15 nautical miles and from the surface up to 4000 feet. It includes interacting with the civilian controllers who are controlling the en route air space well above us.”
Transporting and erecting the TAOT provided an opportunity for personnel to test their training competencies.
“We took the mobile kit, set it up and established procedures and processes to ensure we had a safe and orderly flow of air traffic to and from RAAF Base Scherger,” Squadron Leader Wilson said.
“The team did an exceptional job in quite austere conditions. They managed to get the equipment set up and operating in a short timeframe. I am really proud of their efforts.
“Australia’s ability to come to a remote air field such as this, set it up and ensure we have a safe flow of air traffic control is essential to the projection of air power in our region.”