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241st ATCS receives evaluation

Technical Sergeants Isacc Steed, left and Scott Thompson, right, both Missouri Air National Guard members from the 241st Air Traffic Control Squadron in Saint Joseph, provide air traffic management at the  Tarkio Fly-in on July 12, 2008. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Greg Kunkle/Released)

Technical Sergeants Isacc Steed, left and Scott Thompson, right, both Missouri Air National Guard members from the 241st Air Traffic Control Squadron in Saint Joseph, provide air traffic management at the Tarkio Fly-in on July 12, 2008. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Greg Kunkle/Released)

St. Joseph, MO. -- The Airfield Services Division, National Guard Bureau (NGB/ A3F) conducted an air traffic systems evaluation at the 241st Air Traffic Control Squadron March 1 - 5.

An air traffic system evaluation is an AFI unit compliance inspection (UCI) conducted every two to three years. NGB/AF3 inspects 926 check-list items evaluating fixed air traffic systems ensuring compliance. Unlike a UCI, no rating is provided.

"Overall, 26 minor checklist discrepancies were noted which resulted in a 97.3% overall compliance grade. There were zero safety concerns and zero deficiencies which would affect the flying mission," said Maj. John Howie, 241st commander.

In the past three inspections, the ATC went from 85 discrepancies in 2004 to 47 in 2007. The discrepancies observed in the current inspection are much less than those in the previous years. This displays a steady trend in a decline of discrepancies.

"We found no major observations and the discrepancies we did find were small in nature and easily fixable," said S. Scott Duke, YA-3 DAF Chief, Airfield Services Division NGB/A3F.

Various areas are evaluated through observation of the squadron's performance. The 139th Operation Support Flight (OSF) Air Field Management, Terminal Enroute Procedures Specialist shop (TERPS), ATC Training and Maintenance were among those areas that were evaluated.

"If there was an overall grade given, the 139th OSF Air Field Management team would have received an Outstanding grade," Howie said. "Kudos to the men and women at the OSF".

One minor discrepancy was found out of 170 checklist items resulting in 99.5percent compliance for the 139th OSF team.

"With the AFC conversion and the minor things found they (evaluation team) found by digging, the evaluation went better than I expected," said Chief Master Sgt. Edna Hoffman, 241st maintenance chief.

"The 241st pulled together as a team as we always do," said Staff Sgt. Audra Justice, 241st radar operation controller. "The full-timers put in a lot of effort and the traditional don't get to see that."

"We knew we had the right people in the right job and the grade speaks for that," Howie said.

"This was an incredible week for both the evaluation team and those that we evaluated. The team was treated to a cadre of professionals who knew their jobs well, took enormous pride in the work they do, and are humbled in their acceptance of praise," Duke said.

"I was thrilled to be able to brief the Wing Commander that the air traffic control system surrounding the Rosecrans Memorial Airport was safe and efficient," Duke said. "This, of course, was due to the men and women of the 241st ATCS, 139 OSF, and the civilian airport manager, Mike Hurst."