TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
Marines with Marine Air Support Squadron 1 returned to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., Aug. 10, after conducting an integrated training exercise at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, C.A., July 10-Aug. 6.
During the exercise, MASS-1 was responsible for maintaining procedural control of the airspace within the specified training areas, said Lt. Andrew W. Estko, the data platoon officer in charge with MASS-1.
Maintaining procedural control is a method of providing air traffic control services without the use of radar. The controller maintains a mental picture of the location of aircraft based on each aircraft's route, altitude and estimated times over reporting points. The purpose of procedural control is to detect and reduce the risk of conflict with flights.
Marines facilitated the training with Marine Aircraft Group 16 and Marines of 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Division and 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment on Camp Wilson and the surrounding training areas, according to Estko.
“The Marines from MASS-1 performed well during the exercise,” said Estko. “They gained valuable controlling experience with live aircraft and accomplished the prescribed mission.”
The Marines controlled fixed-wing, rotary wing and tilt-rotor aircraft as well as unmanned aerial systems in support of the ground combat element and aviation combat element training, said Lt. Daniel B. Martin, the detachment officer in charge with MASS-1.
“The MASS-1 detachment safely and effectively controlled the airspace,” said Martin. “They aided the GCE and ACE in the facilitation of their requisite training, while developing closer working relationships with units from MAG-16 and the GCE.”
Upon completion of their mission, MASS-1 Marines passed control of the airspace for the Large Scale Exercise to Marine Air Support Squadron 6, Aug. 7, 2014 as they will continue the training and support during the ongoing ITX, said Martin.