So, as I’ve posted before I’m 20 years USAF and all this new tanker ops has really brought back memories. In 1995 I had cross trained into command post ( AFSC 1C3X1. Which among lots of assignments included the 62AW and the TACC Tanker Airlift Control Center.
So, way back in 1995, Siemens was the contractor who built our new consoles that included multi touch screens that allows us seamless comms across Phone/ UHF/VHF/HF comms and the ability to patch phone lines to radios so crews could make phone calls for one of many purposes. Also as NCOIC of console operations I had to make sure our frame room equipment interfaced with legacy 60s tech to new digital platforms including Novel, Win95/NT to talk to aircraft. I also as equipment officer make annual trips across the flightline to our radio shack to inventory our radios and antennas. UHF and VHF were local to base, HF were phone lines to stations across the globe. Our METAR/WX terminal was still a separate dedicated terminal from the Matrix.
So here are some interesting useless info:
Military use UHF to talk to us but have VHF for civilians
Talking to civilian aircraft on VHF sucked, weak volume on our consoles
Civies use Block time for departure time
USAF control towers use beginning takeoff role for departure
AMC/TACC uses wheels up for departure time.
A mission is not late until after 14 mins past scheduled departure
On some missions I could make approach /departure make room for my missions and preempt others
Replaning an AR ARCT sux while aircraft already airborne
A tail swap can be a real pain when the original plane is hard broke,especially within the 4hour window of launch
From 6 hours out from takeoff I had to make sure that aircraft was fueled, configured, FMC, pulled flight plans, weather data and gave CP brief to crews because sometimes weather shop would be closed or base ops min manned for night ops
The first person to be called and yelled at when aircraft break quiet hours
Receive a call from random person that our satellites in space are talking to them in their brain
Or the call that A-10s are scaring their cows
Or sending reports to TACC because of a dropped object, ie something fell off the aircraft in flight
Running IFE checklists because because pilots plans for hot brakes
Jets stop whinning when they land, pilots don’t.
Aircrews really want their box lunches on board the aircraft before takeoff
Fleet services must ensure a clean toilet
PAX are weighed on a scale while holding carry ons at terminal
US Customs don’t like short notice overseas arrivals
Wing Commanders love getting woke up at 2am so you can tell them that someone backed their truck into a plane
Oh and while in England stationed at RAF Alconbury and still in supply, it could get so foggy that while driving on the flightline would have to count taxiway lights to know when my turn was or end up up in a really bad spot.
Maybe I can think of something else later.
Other like mil aviation stories welcomed love swapping war stories