Fightertown’s own wins ATC Marine of the Year

21 Nov 2007 | Cpl. James M. Mercure

 One of the Air Station’s very own, Gunnery Sgt. Terry Harden, an air traffic controller here, took home the Lingiam Odem Memorial Award presented by the Air Traffic Control Association for Air Traffic Control Specialist of the Military for 2007 at an awards luncheon Oct. 30.

 While in Iraq, Harden put forth the initiative to better train his Marines and created a safer flow of air traffic over the Ar Ramadi area of operations.

 “Harden was responsible for the safe and expeditious flow of air traffic for more than 12,000 incident and accident-free operations and assisted in the coordination of more than 2,500 casualty and medical evacuations,” said Maj. Joseph Turkal, the commanding officer of Marine Air Control Squadron 2 in Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point. “These accomplishments are a testimonial to Harden’s dedication in preparing his Marines for any challenge.”

 For the ATC Marines of Fightertown, Harden sets a great example to follow.

 “This is the first time anyone in this facility has won this award,” said 1st Lt. Dominic Kimzey, the ATC officer-in-charge here. “This award just proves that his hard work and dedication to ATC is commendable.”

 The Lingiam “Linn” Odems Memorial Award is a medallion award for military air traffic control specialists, according to the ATCA’s Web site. This is an award presented to an individual, military or civilian air traffic control specialist, who has, during the previous year, performed in an exemplary or extraordinary manner in support of military air traffic control facilities.

 The purpose of the Air Traffic Control Association Awards Program is to give special recognition to those persons and organizations engaged in the development, operation or maintenance of the world-wide air traffic control system for outstanding achievement or for an outstanding contribution to ATC, according to the ATCA’s Web site.

 “In the ATC field you have to constantly improve your skills, and Gunnery Sgt. Harden has done this,” Kimzey explained. “We have a true professional among us.”