The NATO Course for air traffic controllers took place last week in Nevatim Airbase. “A completely different way of thinking”
The “Gulfstream” Squadron hosted the NATO Course for air traffic controllers last week. The course trains the controllers to operate in the English language according to NATO’s military tactics.
“We began adopting some of the American controlling regulations in 2001”, said Lt. Col. (Res.) Erez Reyvit, the course commander. “NATO’s military tactics are unique, organized, reflects a more clear image of the enemy and cannot be deviated from and therefore the learning process is difficult and requires a lot of practice”.
NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) is an international organization for military cooperation. The IDF and IAF take part in many NATO-related exercises and strengthen the cooperation with member countries.
“One of our goals when taking part in international exercise is learning from the operational experience of foreign forces. Practicing abroad, in an unknown area and against versatile weapons, is highly beneficial for us”, explains Major Yifat from the International Coordination Branch in IAF Headquarters. “Our activity echoes far beyond the practices”, added Lt. Col. SigalBenglas, Head of Branch, “The fact that we participate in large international exercise says a lot about the country. When we are there, we do not only represent the IAF but the State of Israel”.
The objective of the NATO Course is training as many air traffic controllers as possible to take part in future international exercises.
“A completely different way of thinking”
The participants were taught by airborne control simulator instructors in the “Gulfstream” squadron who specialize in NATO’s military tactics. During the course, the instructors tested the controllers with the simulator located in the squadron. “The course is intensive and the preparations toward it also take a lot of effort”, explained Lieutenant Raz, a controller from the Southern Control Unit. “The biggest difficulty if obviously the language. You have to adopt a completely different way of thinking and get used to the orders given in English, which are also sometimes different from their Hebrew translation”.
“The instructor set the aerial image the controller sees on his screen and we change it and take it and increase the level of difficulty to make it harder to decipher. After each sortie we debrief them in order to create progress and independent learning process”, said Corporal Meytal Linzer, a simulator instructor from the “Gulfstream” Squadron and the leader of the course.