Marines have been known for training hard throughout history. Air traffic controllers are no different at Marine Corps Air Station New River.
An air traffic control simulator was recently assembled at MCAS New River giving Marines the ability to train with computer-generated images to prepare for real life situations.
"It’s called the I.T. Tower; what it does is it takes a panoramic view of this particular air station and gives us a real-time view of what it would look like in the real tower with the same type of equipment, aircraft and weather," said Riley Tennyson, assistant control tower chief.
The air traffic control simulator acts as a bridge between the classroom and the actual tower.
"It’s a real good way to practice before they get into the real tower," said Tennyson.
Hands-on training is one of the many benefits the simulator offers.
"It allows for Marines to see how an aircraft goes inbound and outbound, set up their timing and correct mistakes without any loss of life or aircraft," said Sgt. Derek Falefia, an air traffic controller.
The primary goal of the advanced simulator is to help a Marine become proficient at a quicker rate.
"This simulator is designed to reduce the training time in the actual tower so a Marine can get certified faster," said Tennyson.
Instructors in the air traffic control community are excited for the ability to train Marines on a device with this level of versatility.
"This is the best simulator I have seen the Marine Corps purchase," said Tennyson.