09/18/2015: Air traffic controllers monitor and coordinate air traffic and vehicles within the designated areas of an established airport control zone, expeditionary airfield or remote area landing site.
Air Support Marines coordinate with aircraft and ground forces in order to provide direct and indirect close fire support.
After recruit training, these Marines will either complete the Air Traffic Control Basic Course at Pensacola, FL; the Air Control Electronics Operator Course at Quantico, VA; or the Air Support Operations Operator Course at Twentynine Palms, CA.
Within the MEU
Air Support and Air Traffic Controllers observe and relay weather conditions, and coordinate communications between aircraft and ground forces to ensure safe and efficient aircraft movement. They may support the Aviation Combat Element on base or deploy as part of a mobile team.
Specialties in Air Traffic Control/Air Support include:
Air Traffic Controller: Air traffic controllers routinely perform various duties and tasks related to the control of air traffic and vehicles within the designated areas aboard an established airport control zone, expeditionary airfield or remote area landing site.
Air Control Electronics Operator: Installs and operates tactical air command and control systems.
Air Support Operations Operator: Performs as liaison between air and ground forces.
This video shows USMC ATC operators at Iwakuni, Japan
Credit: American Forces Network, Iwakuni, Japan