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Guide to Air Traffic control (Military Route)

Discussion in 'Air Traffic Control' started by AirForceControl, Jan 10, 2008.

  1. AirForceControl

    AirForceControl New Member

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    Hello Guys, I just want to share my experience with you. I am in the United States Air Force Delayed Entry Program as an Air Traffic Controller. I am scheduled to Leave for Boot Camp March 4, 2008. Heres How the Process worked thus far.

    First you'll have to find a recruiter. Your recruiter will not be inclined to talk about specific jobs until you take the ASVAB ( basically the SAT of the military) Because a ton of people come in there wanting Air Traffic Control and only a few score high enough to get the job. Your recruiter will schedule you to take the ASVAB at the nearest Air force Base. After you've taken the ASVAB, You will be told your score, and if you passed you will be put into a hotel near the base. The next day you will be shuttled from the hotel at 5am back to the base to start a thorough physical. The physical will take all day, about 8 hours, and consist of a full eye, ear, urine, and blood exam. In order to even qualify for Air Traffic Control you have to have a pretty much perfect physical. I saw a lot of guys disqualified for vision. If your physical went well you will be sent down stairs to a Job Counselor. The Job counselor has a List of available jobs and compares whats available to what you qualify for.The qualifications for ATC is a 52 on the ASVAB and a Damn near perfect Physical. If Air traffic control is on that list, which more than likely its not, and you qualify for it you cant take the job right there on the spot. ATC Requires a 6 year commitment due to the training involved. Your Counselor will also tell you the date that youll leave for boot camp. I was lucky enough to have ATC as an option when i went down to see the Job counselor. Chances are Air Traffic Control wont be one of the options for you to pick. Back a few years ago they used to let you wait until an ATC Job opened up, but now the Air Force doesnt "Need" any new enlistments so youll either have to pick another job or theyll tell you to go home and you cannot reenlist (im not sure for how long). Next you sign your contract then you go upstairs to swear in. Now your officially a part of the United States Air Force Delayed Entry Program. The ATC Job I had doesn't leave for boot camp until March 4th 2008, so for 6 months I just sit here and wait. I have to meet with my recruiter once a month. Boot camp is 6 and a half weeks in San antonio Texas. After boot camp I will attend ATC School in Mississippi for 26 weeks.

    Thats about it, if i think of anything i forgot to add ill add it. One thing i wasnt to sure of was the exact score you need on the ASVAB for ATC its between a 52-56.
    If you have any questions feel free to ask. Thanks
     
  2. JimmyK

    JimmyK Well-Known Member

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    Geez, you had to get a flight physical right there at MEPS? For Marine Corps ATC we didn't get the flight physical until we got to Pensacola. What really sucked about that was so many Marines made it to Pensacola only to find out they were NPQ'd and had to sit on barracks support for umpteen months untill they finally got around to re classing them.
     
  3. rickyrhodesii

    rickyrhodesii New Member

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    Welcome to JetCareers and the Air Force!

    This one really baffles me. You'll see when you graduate tech school and get to your first duty station, but Air Force is hurting for qualified controllers. Our retention rate is unbelievably low.

    Is this the recruiter telling you this? Maybe they've filled all available tech school slots, but believe me...we need controllers. The facility i work at is well below our required manning level.

    Unless things have changed, tech school was only 16 weeks.

    Feel free to ask if you have any questions about AF ATC!

    Again, welcome to JC and congratulations on your selection as an Air Force air traffic controllers!
     
  4. AirForceControl

    AirForceControl New Member

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    ATC is actually really hard to come by now. The 1st time i was at the meps ATC wasnt on the list, but luckily i failed to show a document so they failed my physical and when i came back the second time it was on the list. After I picked ATC, there were 3 or 4 guys after me in line who wanted ATC who had to either pick another job or go home because it wasnt availible.

    I dont know the current need of the air force but i do know that as of like last year, they wont let you sit and wait for a job you want to become available like the army will. With the air force if the job you want isnt avaiable the day you go down to meps you either have to pick another job or go home. Like i said before, i saw 3 or 4 people get sent home because i took the last ATC slot and they didnt want to pick another job.

    Yea, they bumped it up to 26 weeks now, i wish it was 16 weeks so i could go to my girlfirends prom.

    i do have a couple questions though.

    1. I wanted to know how hard is tech school going to be? whats my day going to be like?

    2. What are my chances of getting the base i want? i want Mcdill in Tampa FL.

    3. Whats my day going to be like as an Air force ATC? hows the scehduling and hours?

    4. Whats life in general like in the air force.

    4. will i be able to travel a lot with this job?

    5. When i deploy to Iraq, will i get a gun :D
     
  5. rickyrhodesii

    rickyrhodesii New Member

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    I'm sure you've heard it before and you'll hear it again...it's like drinking from a fire hose. You're expected to learn a ton of material in a short amount of time. Your days generally consist of PT before or after class, going to class, which consist of lectures, tests, and simulators.

    Don't qoute me on this, but I'm pretty sure MacDill ATC has been turned over to civilians. A quick phone call and you can find out.

    While you're in training, your day is going to consist of training. Maybe classroom time, simulator sessions and working live traffic.

    Your schedule will depend on your location. I've been at a 24-hour facility and a non-24-hour facility.

    With a 24 hour facility a schedule might look like this: 2 day shifts (8am-4pm), 2 swing shifts (4pm-12am), 2 mid shifts (12am-8am) and 2 days off.

    A non 24-hour facility schedule might look like this: Monday-Friday and an occasional Sunday. On week you might work day shifts (6am-2pm) and the next week you might work swing shifts (2pm-10pm).

    Again, this will differ for each facility.

    It's all what you make it. Assuming you're single, you'll have a bedroom to yourself and might share a bathroom or kitchen with a suitemate. Married folks have the option to live on base or off base.

    Hmm, well I'm not sure what you mean by traveling. When you're on leave, you can travel all you want. As far as traveling with ATC, your options are limited to deployment and job related travel such as training, TERPs, ALS, NCO academy.

    It's funny you said when...because your time will come! I deployed a year ago and I took an M-16. When I leave in a month, again, I'll get my trusty M-16. As far as i know, when you deploy to Iraq or Afghanistan.

    If you have further questions, keep 'em coming!
     
  6. JT ATC

    JT ATC New Member

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    Figured I would chime in here, I was in ATC tech school from Dec 06 thru April 07.

    1. I wanted to know how hard is tech school going to be? whats my day going to be like?

    The school part isn't hard, but it isn't easy. You HAVE to actually study. They throw alot of info at you in a short amount of time. I could easily tell who was studying and who wasn't. Those that didn't washed back a week or 2 or washed out completely.

    Your day will start before 5 am, you will form up, do roll call and march to class. You'll study and take about an hour lunch (marching back to the chow hall only), then come back to class for a couple more hours, then march back to your squadron. From there, depending on the day of the week, you will either do PT Mon, Tues, Thurs, open ranks on Wednesday (uniform inspections), and on Fridays some other kind of crap. Usually don't get released until after 6pm.

    Every other friday you are off. That part rocked.

    2. What are my chances of getting the base i want?
    You will fill out a dream sheet of places you want to go. And it's exactly that... a dream. My first enlistment, I picked all overseas bases and got McConnell AFB, KS. In my ATC class, the assignments given out were Tyndall AFB FL, Luke AFB, AZ, Columbus AFB, MS and one guy got Minot ND. Just depends on when you go through school.

    3. Whats my day going to be like as an Air force ATC?
    I can't really answer that honestly since I was Supply on active duty and I"m Air National Guard now as ATC

    4. Whats life in general like in the air force.
    Just like a normal job, with occasional exercises, 12-14 hour days, and extra training crap. But all in all it's a pretty good like IMO.

    4. will i be able to travel a lot with this job?
    You can pretty much count on it depending on the base you go to. ATC is one of the highest deployed jobs in the AF right now. But enjoy it, soak up the cultures and have a blast. I went on 4 deployments overseas. I want to go again.

    5. When i deploy to Iraq, will i get a gun?
    Can't answer that one. Haven't gone to Iraq yet.

    If you have any other questions, feel free to PM me.

    JT
     
  7. AirForceControl

    AirForceControl New Member

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    Hey guys, since my last post, i have graduated boot camp and am at my tech school at keesler air force base, biloxi mississippi for air traffic control. i been here for 3 weeks now and i am on block II of air traffic control fundamentals. If you have any questions let me know.
     
  8. PilotChip

    PilotChip Air Traffic Controller

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    Try to barter with your recruiter to get ATC as a guaranteed assignment. Make sure it's in writing in your enlistment contract. It's the smartest thing you can do... or else don't be surprised when ATC is full and you just get a "nope" after boot camp and you have 5 1/2 years left lol!

    FATS FITTER! A C DRAMHAF! whoohoo!
     
  9. Jake alexander

    Jake alexander New Member

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    quick question on ATC USAF..

    After completing physical/medical at meps, do they have you do another at tech school and first assigned based?

    No specific reason why I ask, I have gather all the necessary information I need about the job already, just wanted to be fully informed.
     
  10. NovemberEcho

    NovemberEcho Well-Known Member

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    You go to basic then you go to tech school. Assuming you pass tech school you'll go to your first base and do on the job training until you check out or wash out.
     
  11. scoobs

    scoobs Well-Known Member

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    Why such a stringent physical?

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk
     

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