Wednesday, April 27, 2016

US Airmen support earthquake relief efforts in Ecuador

ANTA, ECUADOR -- A Mobile Air Traffic Control Tower is shown being prepared by U.S. troops to serve as a temporary air traffic control facility at the airport here Tuesday, April 26. The ATC tower was transported from the U.S. aboard an Air Force C-17 aircraft at the request of the Government of Ecuador. The request was made because of damage sustained by the existing air traffic control tower at the Manta airport from the earthquake which struck Ecuador April 17. Consisting of a truck-mounted ATC tower which can extend to three stories high, provides excellent visibility for controllers and communications to provide safe aircraft handling in austere environments. Preliminary setup of the tower can be accomplished in 10 minutes, with full operation in 90 minutes, and can operate without maintenance for up to 30 days. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance)

MANTA, Ecuador – The United States, in coordination with the Government of Ecuador, deployed 12 U.S. Air Force Airmen to Ecuador this week to support ongoing international relief efforts for victims of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the South American country April 16th.

The deployment includes an eight-man airfield assessment team that arrived in Manta April 22 to help assess damage to the airfield and identify necessary repairs. A U.S. Air Force four-man team with a mobile Air Traffic Control Tower (ATC) arrived at the city’s Eloy Alfaro Airport April 26 to help local controllers increase the flow of humanitarian aid entering the country.

The initial assessment team is scheduled to redeploy to their home station later this week.

The mobile ATC is designed to quickly establish air traffic services in austere environments to support aircraft movements in and out of airfields. Mobile air traffic control systems can be set up to be fully operational within 90 minutes, providing portable, durable, and modular radio communications and air traffic services equipment.

U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) directed the deployment at the request of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA), the lead federal agency coordinating U.S. foreign disaster response efforts in Ecuador
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