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ACC Staff Assistance Visit helps uphold airfield standards

By Master Sgt. Kerri Spero Joint Task Force-Bravo Public Affairs

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Three Staff Assistance Visit team members from Headquarters, Air Combat Command visited the 612th Air Base Squadron to conduct an airfield compliance assessment here, Jan. 17-20.

Chief Master Sergeants Scott Sojak, Paul Portugal and Brian Lavigne visited the Airfield Control Tower, Ground Control Approach Facility, Airfield Management and Air Traffic Control Landing Systems sections during their visit.

This is the first SAV the Airfield Management, ATCALS, and Air Traffic Control has had at Soto Cano Air Base since 2010. ACC maintains administrative control of the airfield, so they control training, manning, and are the approval authority for all operating instructions and regulations used for running the airfield.

“This was not a full-on inspection. A Staff Assistance Visit is used so the ACC functional managers can advise and identify on ways we can improve airfield operations,” said Master Sgt. Jennifer Herr, 612th Air Base Squadron Airfield Manager.

In order to prepare for the SAV, functional area members used inspection checklists from the Management Internal Control Toolset to make sure they are in compliance with Air Force instructions and directives. By running checklists and doing self-inspections, discrepancies and problem areas are identified. SAV team members can help figure out how to get those areas into compliance. Problem areas noticed in self-inspections are given priority.

“This visit also allows ACC to get some traction with the International Airport planning efforts so they can see firsthand how the construction and planned changes for the airfield will affect operations of Air Force aircraft, like our weekly Channel Mission, as well as cargo and refueling aircraft that come to Soto Cano to support humanitarian aid disaster relief missions,” said Herr.

This visit will ensure all these facilities are completing the mission in accordance with directives and also providing superior support to all flying units.

“The SAV is greatly appreciated by the Operations Support Flight as an opportunity to have outside subject matter experts validate our work. It is helpful to have feedback on what areas need more focus and to have several superior performers recognized,” said Capt. Rachel Daniel, 612th Operations Support Flight commander.

“Overall, the Air Traffic Control team is providing outstanding support to U.S. and host-nation customers,” said Chief Master Sgt. Scott Sojak, ACC Air Traffic Control Functional Manager.

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