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Columbus AFB Airmen and Memphis Center connect

Instructor pilots, RAPCON and tower controllers from Columbus Air Force Base interacting with monitors in a training room Nov. 22, 2019, at the Memphis Center, Tenn. Columbus AFB is one of the busiest bases for Air Traffic Controllers with the average upgrade training time for Tower trainees being ten months and for RAPCON trainees is one year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airmen 1st Class Jake Jacobsen)

Instructor pilots, RAPCON and tower controllers from Columbus Air Force Base interact with monitors in a training room Nov. 22, 2019, at the Memphis Center, Tenn. Columbus AFB is one of the busiest bases for Air Traffic Controllers with the average upgrade training time for Tower trainees being ten months and for RAPCON trainees is one year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airmen 1st Class Jake Jacobsen)

Instructor pilots, RAPCON and tower controllers from Columbus Air Force Base interacting with monitors in a training room Nov. 22, 2019, at the Memphis Center, Tenn. The Memphis Center’s airspace coverage overlaps Columbus’s so when the bases RAPCOM and tower Airmen aren’t working it is the Memphis Center controllers working our airspace. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airmen 1st Class Jake Jacobsen)

Instructor pilots, RAPCON and tower controllers from Columbus Air Force Base interact with monitors in a training room Nov. 22, 2019, at the Memphis Center, Tenn. The Memphis Center’s airspace coverage overlaps Columbus’s so when the bases RAPCOM and tower Airmen aren’t working it is the Memphis Center controllers working our airspace. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airmen 1st Class Jake Jacobsen)

Instructor pilots, RAPCON and tower controllers from Columbus Air Force Base eating a catered lunch Nov. 22, 2019, at the Memphis Center, Tenn. All trainees and certified controllers must pass monthly proficiency tests that include items directed from the FAA and Headquarters Air Education and Training Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airmen 1st Class Jake Jacobsen)

Instructor pilots, RAPCON and tower controllers from Columbus Air Force Base eat a catered lunch Nov. 22, 2019, at the Memphis Center, Tenn. All trainees and certified controllers must pass monthly proficiency tests that include items directed from the FAA and Headquarters Air Education and Training Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airmen 1st Class Jake Jacobsen)

COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --

Instructor Pilots from the 37th, 41st, 48th and 50th Flying Training Squadron's joined Columbus Air Force Base’s Air Traffic Controllers on a trip to the Memphis Center in Memphis, Tennessee, Nov. 22, 2019.

A total of 18 members of Team BLAZE journeyed to the center in order to connect, share knowledge, ask questions and reinforce the connection between Columbus AFB and the Memphis Center.

Coordinated by Capt. Julian Kinonen, 14th Operations Support Squadron chief of aerial events, and John Hensley, Memphis Center operations support, the tour was comprised of a trip to the Memphis Tower, the Memphis Center with lunch, as well as question and answer sessions with the controllers there.

“I thought it would be good for the pilots and controllers on base who work with the controllers at the Memphis Center to get some Q&A’s in, that way we can put names to faces between the two agencies,” Kinonen said.

During the tour Kinonen highlighted the fact that the Memphis Center’s airspace coverage overlaps Columbus AFB’s. So when the base’s Radar Approach Control and Control Airmen aren’t working this particular airspace, the Memphis Center controllers are. It takes both agencies working together to execute our mission on Columbus AFB.

“I think the trip to the Memphis station and the Control Tower was foremost about familiarization, seeing how we work together and for the Airmen to get an idea of what we do on the civilian side of their job,” said Hensley.

Most pilots stationed at Columbus AFB, whether it is during pilot training or as a first assignment instructor pilot, will talk to the controllers working at the Memphis Center when executing flights North/Northwest of Columbus.

Columbus AFB continues to maintain a strong connection between Team Blaze and the Memphis Center to help execute the mission of creating the world’s best aviators.