Air Traffic System Evaluation
By Capt. Dicie Hritz, 171st Public Affairs
/ Published September 12, 2011
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. -- The 258 ATCS went through an intense three day ATSE August 16-18 2011 at the unit, receiving the official out-brief at 9:00 a.m. August 19th. The squadron was evaluated on 807 checklist items, which is the second highest amount of items on any Air National Guard unit to date.
The evaluation assesses standards on Air Force, National Guard Bureau and Federal Aviation regulations all at the same time. Specifically, it is measuring to see if an ATC unit is performing at a safe level. The evaluation is measured in observations and problems. An observation is defined as a system deficiency that clearly indicates an actual or potential flying mission impact or an adverse affect on flying safety. A problem is considered minor and is defined as an unsatisfactory checklist item, indicating non-compliance with an established standard. This evaluation was the first time since the inception of the 258th that the unit went through an evaluation with no observations. The trend analysis has successfully declined at the 258th since evaluations started in 1998.
The leadership, experience, maintenance and superb air traffic controlling was highlighted during the out-brief by Mr. Scott Duke, NGB/A3A Chief of Airfield Services Division. The words professional, gutsy, mentorship, leadership, CRM and remarkable were used while describing the unit by members of the NGB evaluation team. The unit was commended from the leadership at the top down to the lowest ranking Airmen in the squadron.
Two individuals were singled out for their performances during the inspection in the form of an ATSE coin. To be coined by an ATSE inspection team is a rare distinction indicating excellence well above standards. Since 1998, The NGB evaluation team has only presented three coins (total). Master Sgt. Kristy Long, Maintenance Quality Assurance NCOIC and Chief Master Sgt. Steven Anslinger, Chief of Maintenance were both presented an ATSE coin by Duke for their outstanding leadership, experience and guidance they provided to their team of Airmen. Anslinger will be retiring in April after 34 years of military service.
Lt. Col. Joseph Hensley, 258 ATCS Commander, was extremely pleased with the out-brief and commented on the talent, experience and enthusiasm of the members in his squadron.
"Before the inspection, I felt the unit was performing at an extremely high level but, I am a little biased. This inspection validated my faith in the professionalism and abilities of the squadron," said Hensley.
Brig. Gen. Roy Uptegraff, 171 Air Refueling Wing Commander, Col. Mark Van Kooten, Mission Support Group Commander, his wife Kim, and Lt. Col. Michele Papakie, Wing Inspector General attended the out-brief and were very proud of the 258th unit members for the laudatory comments they received from the evaluation team.
General Uptegraff addressed the squadron after the out-brief was complete and summed up the 258th in two words: fortunate and grateful. Fortunate because of the Airmen, experience and expertise in the area of air traffic and grateful because of our resources and infrastructure the 258th operates with and out of.
"I was absolutely thrilled and delighted at the out-brief," said Uptegraff.
"Well done! From the bottom to the top, I was extremely proud of all the men and women of the 258th. They have just set a new level of excellence in the ATSE world," said Van Kooten.