Air traffic control for arriving and departing flights at Moore County Airport has been temporarily transferred to the 164th Theater Airfield Operations Group in a joint training exercise between the U.S. Army and the airport. The exercise will be conducted from March 13 through March 17 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Fourteen men and women from the 3-58th Airfield Operation Battalion (AOB) headquartered on Simmons Army Airfield at Fort Bragg are on-site at the Moore County Airport for the training, which includes a mobile control tower unit and ATNAVICS radar approach control system. The Moore County Airport and nearby Fayetteville Regional Airport issued a Notice to Air Mission (NOTAM) changing the airport frequency to the military team based at the airport.
“The on-site training at Moore County allows the men and women in our platoon to receive training progression proficiency and ratings for air traffic control,” said Warrant Officer and Platoon Leader Nathaniel Rodriguez. “The Battalion’s primary mission is to deploy globally in support of any combatant commander and provide Air Traffic Services and Airfield Management. The AOB enables commanders to expeditiously establish an airfield with the capability to control rotary and fixed-wing aircraft through both positive and procedural airspace control measures.”
Moore County Airport is considered an “uncontrolled” airport, which allows the arriving and departing pilots to conduct their own ground approach to the airport. Adding in the navigation control from the 164th Theater Airfield Operations Group allows the pilots to practice precision approaches like they were at a commercial airport.
Training conducted at Moore County Airport occurs every other month at smaller private airports throughout North Carolina. It allows the soldiers to perfect their navigation skills and practice the mobilization of their equipment.
Ron Maness, Director of the Moore County Airport, was on-site to oversee the set up of the air traffic units that arrived on Monday.
“We are pleased to provide use of our airport facility to the Army for this exercise and to work with the members of the 3-58th Battalion,” said Maness, who added, “Military support has been an important element at the Moore County Airport with the close proximity to Fort Bragg. We have several military related businesses based in Moore County, we provide fueling and flight training opportunities, and the Army and other military services are great supporters of our annual Festival D’Avion air show that is held at the airport in October.”
The 164th hopes to continue training exercises at Moore County Airport in the future.
Warrant Officer Rodriguez continued, “We greatly appreciate the support that the management and staff at the Moore County Airport has provided our team, and we look forward to a successful week of training and the opportunity to return in the future. The airport is an outstanding facility.”