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53rd Air Traffic Control Squadron continues mission in spite of pandemic

Photo shows two Airmen working in close quarters on equipment.

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. – Airman 1st Class Demetrius Georgiadis and Airman 1st Class Jared Littlejohn, both assigned to the 53rd Air Traffic Control Squadron at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, keep the TRN-48, Deployable Tactical Air Navigation system’s communications sub-system, mission ready during COVID-19 restrictions. The TRN-48 provides pilots distance and bearing information, broadcasting a beacon that can aid air navigation when other services are unavailable. (courtesy photo)

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --

The 53rd Air Traffic Control Squadron, a unique unit assigned to the 461st Air Control Wing at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, tackled the COVID-19 pandemic head on while maintaining its wartime mission, building resiliency, and educating Air Education and Training Command pipeline trainees.

The mission of the 53rd ATCS is to provide Deployable Air Traffic Control and Landing Systems when combatant commanders need to establish a new airfield/bare base, project power into contested areas, or supplement existing air traffic control systems.

Operating under Health Protection Condition CHARLIE proved challenging at first, but the 53rd ATCS rapidly adapted with innovative means to keep systems operational while social distancing, keeping classes running with personal protective equipment, and sparking resiliency with squadron team events via livestream.

Photo shows an Airman reading a binder with equipment stacked on a table in front of him.
SLIDESHOW | 5 images | 53rd Air Traffic Control Squadron continues mission in spite of ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. – Airman 1st Class Michael Green, with the 53rd Air Traffic Control Squadron at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, reviews technical data in order to establish a remote link with the TRN-48, Deployable Tactical Air Navigation system’s communications sub-system while maintaining social distancing requirements. The Remote Control and Status Unit is a commercial equipment item that enables operators and maintainers to quickly restore Tactical Air Navigation equipment often located thousands of feet away from the operations center. (courtesy photo)