Balad Building Up and Running

The Air Force’s new air-traffic control facility is now online at Balad AB, Iraq. It combines two groups of air-traffic controllers that previously had to work out of separate facilities: the 332nd Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron Combined Enroute Radar Approach control office, known as CERAP, and the controllers from the 727th Expeditionary Air Control Squadron, known as Kingpin. Consolidation of them in one site enhances their communications, airspace coordination, and cross flow of information in support of Air Force Central’s combined air operations center. “We can now provide a better and more real-time air picture to the CAOC so they can see exactly what is going on with the airspace we control,” said SSgt. Gustavo Bautista, 727th EACS interface control technician, deployed from Eglin AFB, Fla. CERAP controllers manage the air routes, ensuring that separation is maintained as aircraft navigate their way through the busy skies over Iraq to their intended destinations. Kingpin controllers manage flying operations for all strike and support aircraft, coordinating and clearing airspace to allow for tactical mission execution. (Balad report by SSgt. Ruth Curfman)