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258th RAPCON Certified

April 2011 --      The 258th Air Traffic Control Squadron (ATCS) received its certification to open after nine years of preparation for its Radar Approach Control (RAPCON) facility Mar. 10 after going through a Facility Commissioning Certification (Inspection (FCCI) in Johnstown .

     The FCCI was conducted to assess the quality, adequacy, and safety of the RAPCON facility supporting flying operations at the John P. Murtha Cambria-County Airport, Johnstown, Pa.

     The results of the FCCI were based on compliance with Air Force, Air National Guard (ANG), and Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) standards, as well as local policies.

     The inspection encompassed ATC, Air Traffic Control and Landing System (ATCALS) Infrastructure maintenance, Automation Systems, Terminal Instrument Procedures, and overall management of the ATC operation.

     The 258th ATCS has been preparing for the RAPCON opening for several years and now will be taking over airspace from the Cleveland Center May 5 with approval from FAA and the National Guard Bureau to open the RAPCON facility.

     With this certification, the Johnstown's Standard Automation Replacement System and Digital Airport Surveillance Radar will operate in the National Airspace System.

     The lead inspector of the FCCI was Scott Duke, ATC Functional Manager NGB.  He also conducted the o9uotbrief of the certification.

     "The 258th is a class act in every level of this organization.  It's about morale and passion and you see that here.  You see the enthusiasm and the passion here," said Duke.

     He also noted that the 258th ATCS will be the first location in the entire ANG where a controller can come and receive every Special Education Identifier that is required, in one location.  This is very efficient and cost effective to have in today's military.

     The implementation of a RAPCON into the National Airspace System has not been accomplished in more than four decades by civilian, active duty or any reserve component.  The hard work and efforts of both NGB, Airfield Services Division (A3F) and the 258th ATCS have made this a success.

     "We are the only unit in the whole Air Force that has every piece of equipment out there," said Maj. Joe Hensley, 258th ATCS Commander.  "We are very unique in that we are the only unit that has a fixed tower, a mobile tower, a fixed radar and a mobile radar."