Controlling for the Future

Iraqi air traffic controllers are manning the tower at Camp Taji, Iraq, alongside Air Force and Army controllers in preparation for the US handover at year’s end. Since Taji is still under Army control, Iraqi personnel faced a gap of several months between training and taking formal control of the airfield. “The Iraqi controllers came to us and asked for time in the tower and continued training,” said Capt. Diana Kostrna, a controller with the 321st Expeditionary Mission Support Advisory Group. “It shows they are really committed to do the job well,” she added. The Iraqi airmen also aided the transition to a new, modernized control tower at Taji. Built with US military funding, “it took every single one of us to get the new tower running; we all had to work outside of the box and make it happen” ahead of the US departure, said Kostrna. (Taji report by TSgt. Josef Cole)