March Minutes - A view from the top

Jaclyn Hall, 452nd Operational Support Squadron air traffic control specialist.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott Hall)

Jaclyn Hall, 452nd Operational Support Squadron air traffic control specialist. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott Hall)

Riverside, Calif. -- 0546:  Wake up my two girls (twins) for breakfast before going to the sitter's house.

0547:  They say, "We have to get up early again?" My reply, "Only if you want anything to eat between now and lunch."

0630:  Drive to the tower. It only takes 15 minutes, but I like to be early for the briefing so the other person can leave on time.

0735:  Going through the tower checklist to make sure all frequencies and equipment are working properly. The audio tapes that record everything we say are changed and ready to go.

0746:  Check e-mail to see if there's anything new. Ugh!  Pro-test time again? (We take proficiency tests monthly.  We always pass because it's open book.

0932:  Launched the last "birds" of the morning. TERPs (terminal instrument procedures specialist) guy (who happens to be my dad) calls to say he's sending new publications up in the elevator.

0933:  Since the elevator doesn't go all the way to the top of the tower, I have to walk down about three stories to get them.  He says I'm younger, so he won't bring them all the way up to me.

1005 : Start on the pro-test which seems pretty simple. Twenty questions on air traffic control.

1110:  The "birds" are back and playing in the pattern. But of course, it's always during my lunch time! Still, it's fun to have so many different types of planes to follow.

1111:  If you have different kind of planes, you have to think more because they all have
different speeds, approaches, etc.

1302:  The training manager comes in for our quarterly performance evaluation.

1415:  Finished the pro-test early. Emailed to training manager for scoring.

1429:  My relief is on the way up the elevator. Sweet!

1530:  Team Mom time. Pick up the girls for their softball game. One is a pitcher, the other a catcher.  Very convenient for twins!

1930:  McDonald's again?  A frequent dinner request of my 9-year-old athletes.  It'll have to do for me as well.