Six brand new Air Traffic Controllers proudly received their Mission Controller qualification badges from the Chief of Air Force AIRMSHL Gavin ‘Leo’ Davies at RAAF Base East Sale on 7 March.
These School of Air Traffic Control (SATC) graduates are the first for a unit under the new Air Academy structure which was formally stood up in January 2019.
AIRMSHL Davies congratulated the graduates for completing one of Defence’s most demanding courses and shared his excitement for the opportunities these members are about to experience in their careers.
“You join a category that plays a key role in both Australia’s National Air Traffic Management System and the delivery of Battlespace Integration for the Defence Force,” AIRMSHL Davies said.
"In addition to the 11 Air Bases at which we provide Air Traffic services, we also have controllers serving with the Navy and Army providing joint effects domestically and overseas."
“You are graduating at a very exciting time in our Defence Force history.”
Over the coming years, many new and exciting programs including the Civil Military Air Traffic Management System – one of the world’s most advanced air traffic management system technology being delivered under OneSKY - will be introduced in to the RAAF.
“I am truly envious of the opportunity you will have to work with world class people and leading-edge equipment and a chance to lead the change.”
Each graduate has undergone approximately nine months of constant pressure, consisting of 250 hours of theory instruction, ten theory assessments, 170 hours of practical classroom instruction and 70 hours of simulator instruction and assessment.
Amongst the graduates was PLTOFF Jaime Steele, who received both the SATC RAAF Values Award and the Gary Haynes Trophy, as a recognition for her outstanding academic achievements, air power knowledge, leadership skills and Air Force values.
“I absolutely enjoyed learning and growing with my fellow graduates throughout this experience," PLTOFF Steele said.
"We literally went from having little aviation exposure to having enough skills and confidence to take on the challenge of on-the-job training with live traffic at our first postings.
“The course was very challenging as we continued to face steep learning curves that required us to stay motivated.
"Luckily, the instructors were approachable, competent, patient and professional, and I can’t thank them enough for their support.
“I’m posted to Darwin for my first posting and I’m very excited about the new skills I’m about to learn and the new experience I get to create."
PLTOFF Steele said the SATC instructors really inspired her and she would like to become a SATC instructor herself one day.