Military Matters: Keeping the Skies Over NAS Kingsville Safe for Navy Pilots

Military Matters: Keeping the Skies Safe over NAS Kingsville

Keeping our Navy Pilots safe in the skies over South Texas. In our Military Matters report, Alan Holt gives us a look at what makes the air traffic control tower at NAS Kingsville so unique to the Coastal Bend.

It's much like the radar we use for tracking storms, but instead the air traffic controllers use the radar to track airplanes. Patrick Paddock, Deputy Air Operations Officer said, "the radar sends out a pulse of energy and that energy is reflected back, digitized, and then we put it on the scope. The radar can actually see the aircraft, see the actual skin-paint, what we call the paint, out to 60 miles. It can see the beacon, the return from the aircraft out to 120 miles."

Keeping track of any airspace can be a difficult task, but the airplanes are not the only thing being tracked. Paddock said, "we are the only Navy institution in the world that has an AVN Radar, which is basically a bird detection radar."

That's because Kleberg County is ranked the number 3 birdiest county in America. Of course birds and airplanes don't mix very well.

"we have this AVN Radar to try to keep these student pilots safe. It is a single engine jet and a good sized duck, if it were to go in the intake would probably bring the aircraft down."

Safety is critical in aviation and while you or i may not realize it on a daily basis, the men and women working in Kingsville are helping to keep the skies safe.

Thomas DeBenedittis the Air Traffic Control Facility Watch Supervisor said, "I'd say my favorite part of the job is that even though everyone does know what's going on, that it is going on and we are contributing to a much bigger picture across the entire nation. keeping thousands of planes safely in order in the skies."


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