Navy, Marine Corps Conduct Aircraft Landing Training in Djibouti

Story Number: NNS170203-08Release Date: 2/3/2017 9:59:00 AM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Timothy M. Ahearn, Camp Lemonnier Public Affairs

CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (NNS) -- Navy air traffic controllers deployed to Camp Lemonnier and the Marine Air Traffic Control Mobile Team attached to the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit conducted aircraft landing zone training in Grand Bara, Djibouti, Jan. 28.

The training allowed the air traffic controllers to work with Marine Air Traffic Control Mobile Team, to gain experience, practice constructing an expeditionary airfield, complete training and readiness requirements.

Held at the Grand Bara desert in Djibouti, the air-traffic controllers learned from their Marine Corps counterparts and began training.

MMT Officer in Charge 1st Lt. Daniel Martinez supervised and coordinated the training evolution.

"This is a great opportunity for our controllers to cross-train with Navy air traffic controllers in expeditionary air traffic control," said Martinez.

The training required the controllers to establish a landing zone 3,000 feet long and 60 feet wide with panel markers every 500 feet from the base of the runway. Once completed, communications with a Marine KC-130 aircraft were established in order to direct it into the runway.

Air Traffic Controller 1st Class Derel Derryberry, a Navy Reservist from Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, was one of five Navy personnel who augmented the MMT.

"It was an exciting change of pace, and I found it very fulfilling to learn the tactical side of air traffic control," said Derryberry.

The KC-130 completed several approach scenarios and touch-and-go landings in order for the pilots to re-certify their dirt landing qualification. Following that, the pilots landed the aircraft to conduct a combat offload training evolution and picked up the MMT to conclude the exercise.

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GRAND BARA, Djibouti-- A United States Marine Corps KC-130J aircraft conducts a touch and go landing during aircraft landing zone training January 28. The training allowed the aircraft pilots to recertify their dirt landing qualification. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class Timothy M. Ahearn/Released)
January 31, 2017
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