National awards land on Tyndall Air Traffic Controller

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Christopher Reel
  • 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
For the second year in a row, a 325th Operations Support Squadron Airman brought a national award back to Tyndall.

Senior Airman Justin Loranger, 325th OSS air traffic controller, is the 2013 Air Traffic Control Specialist of the Military. He received the award Oct. 21 by the Air Traffic Control Association in National Harbor, Md.

The award recognizes military or civilian air traffic controllers who have performed in an exemplary or extraordinary manner in their career field.

"This achievement has shown me that, we, as Air Force air traffic controllers are part of a much bigger ATC community/family," Loranger said. "This achievement makes me feel very grateful for the leadership that I have, who have continuously set high standards for me and my peers. This achievement is a direct impact of the quality of controllers at Tyndall."

Air traffic controllers help keep pilots and aircraft safe. It is their job to talk to the pilots and to ensure continuity of flight patterns of designated air space as well as ensure air craft area able to land and take off.

Loranger earned both his control tower operator and radar approach controller, or RAPCON qualifications, quicker than most Airmen in training. His achievements aid the unit by setting a training standard and increasing management flexibility.

"Airman Loranger is a model example of what we expect from our Airmen," said Senior Master Sgt. Mark McCann, 325th OSS control tower chief controller. "He always demands excellence from himself and those that he works with, and ultimately makes the team better through his performance. His effort toward his assigned duties has always been first class and he has never shied away from challenge. It is this approach that has enabled him to succeed as an air traffic controller and as an Airman, and we could not be prouder of this recognition."

Loranger explained he tries to put 100 percent effort in work and strives to establish that same work ethic and enthusiasm in anybody he trains.

"I honestly think all the controllers in both the Tower and RAPCON are very competent controllers and all stand out," Loranger said. "I wish I was able to list the names of all the controllers that I work with, because they all have helped me in one way or another. I am always learning more effective methods to train and control traffic.

Loranger added that he owes everything to his family because they have always been his number one support syste,

Air traffic controllers are constantly training throughout their careers and at any time can be "washed-out" or let go from the job. Aside from training, air traffic controllers work six to eight hour shifts continuously with almost little to no breaks.

"Airman Loranger has shown through his dedication to duty and his family, that he is the perfect example of a well-rounded professional Airman," Chief Master Sgt. John Sawyer, Chief Controller, Tyndall Approach Control. "As I read through AFI 36-2618, The Enlisted Force Structure, I can't seem to find one area where Airman Loranger does not exceed our expectations. His work ethic, quality of work, professionalism, understanding of both the occupational and institutional competencies, and his leadership and followership qualities are second to none."

Airman Loranger said he is always looking for ways to excel.

"Right now, education is a top priority," Airman Loranger said. "I really want to focus on finishing up my professional aeronautics degree."

The award cites his drive to excel.

"He makes the job of leading him easy," Sawyer said. "This young man is what we all want in an Airman of any rank. He lives by his own set of standards which appear to be firmly grounded in the Air Force Core Values and well above the standards we set for him. The sky is the limit for Airman Loranger and I look forward to watching him progress through the ranks and become an amazing leader of our future Airman."

Earlier this year, Loranger received the Air Force ATC award.