Military Salute: Atop the Air Traffic Control Tower

Military Salute: Atop the Air Traffic Control Tower

Abilene, TX -- It stands tall over Dyess Air Force Base, brushing the Abilene skyline, but once you're at the top, "anything can happen," explained Staff Sergeant Macy Paulino.   

"You can have ten aircrafts scheduled to fly and they all break down, or you can have nobody and then everyone just comes and wants to play, so it's just kind of, what do I get to do today?"

a crew of twelve sit atop the tenth floor making sure aircrafts stay separated, safely and efficiently. 

"The aircraft coming into our airport, I'm going to tell them, you're number one, you're number two, you're number three, and you've got to spin to follow, you're number four," said Staff Sergeant Paulino.

She says it's the type of profession that requires a certain mentality and a good backbone. 

"It's a spare of the moment job, you can either do it, or you can't."

There's also little room for error.   

"My greatest struggle has been to keep my ratings.  We have so many roles in the tower that at any point, if you mess up the separation, you get your ratings taken and you have to start all over again. It's not a shameful thing, it definitely happens, but I'm very proud that I have yet to lose my rating and hopefully it doesn't happen tomorrow," she joked.

Staff Sergeant Paulino has been a part of the crew at Dyess Air Force Base for more than seven years.  What keeps her coming back?

"Just to see what's going to happen the next day, because you can't predict what's going to happen on one given day, she explained.

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