Airmen host Rwandan Defense Force ATCs

***image1***Ramstein recently hosted four air traffic controllers from the Rwandan Defense Force, giving them a first-hand look at how the U.S. Air Force takes care of business on the airfield.

Rwandans visited the 86th Operations Support Squadron’s airfield operations flight and the 1st Combat Communications Squadron’s airfield systems flight as part of the Joint Staff Contact Program.

“The purpose of the Joint Staff Contact Program is to share information regarding air traffic control procedures,” said Capt. Mike Catalano, 86th OSS airfield flight operations officer. “This will assist the Rwandan military in enhancing the safety and efficiency of flight operations, while deepening the mil-mil relationship between the Rwandan Defense Force and USAF.”

In order to give the Rwandans a more thorough understanding of Air Force capabilities, the four controllers spent the week imbedded in the Ramstein control tower and ground controlled approach facilities. The last day of the visit was spent in the Air Expeditionary Force complex to tour the facilities and capabilities of the 1st CBCS airfield systems flight.

The tour included a briefing on the capabilities of the mobile microwave landing system, tactical aircraft navigation system, communications central mobile tower and the landing control system and how these systems work together to create a safe and efficient airfield.

“The friendship and understanding were exchanged both ways and the Rwandan controllers were left with the understanding that it is not our high-tech equipment or world-wide capabilities that make the USAF great,” said Tech. Sgt. Mark Paraoan, 1st CBCS air traffic control watch supervisor.

“But rather it is the dedication, pride and integrity of its people. This caliber of personnel is a common thread between both forces, which is the strongest foundation from which to build any world-class defense force.”

(Story courtesy of 1CBCS)