A First for RAPCONs

The Air Force plans to open the first non-contiguous, co-located Radar Approach Control Facility, dubbed the Dakota Air Traffic Control Facility, in DOD history. The new Dakota facility will join RAPCONs for Ellsworth AFB, S.D., and Minot AFB, N.D., covering an airspace separated by more than 300 miles. The two bases have been working since September 2006 on the joint effort. “The controllers at Ellsworth and Minot have demonstrated their innate ability to think outside the box to accomplish training and overcome the many obstacles that stood in their way,” said 1st. Lt. Nathan Willis, 28th Operations Support Squadron Airlift Operations flight commander at Ellsworth. The South Dakota base will serve at the site for the new RAPCON, expected to open later this summer. (Ellsworth report by SSgt. Eric Bolt.)