Because of the greater number of aircraft an airfield can accommodate compared to an aircraft carrier (CVN) or amphibious assault craft (LHD/LHA), Air Traffic Controllers (ACs) will typically spend 70 percent of a 20-year enlistment assigned to a shore station, although many of these may be located overseas. For their first shore tour, ACs billet at either a Naval Air Station (NAS) or one of five Fleet Area Control and Surveillance Facilities (FACSFACs). Three FACSFAC detachments—San Clemente Island, Pearl Harbor, and Southern California Off-Shore Range (SCORE)—fall under the parent command of FACSFAC San Diego. There are also FACSFACs in Virginia Beach (VACAPES) and (JAX).

Duties at an NAS include Clearance Delivery, Final Control, Flight Data, Flight Planning (Dispatching and Supervising), and Ground Control. At a FACSFAC, they comprise working the Radio Operations Control Center (ROCC), processing ROCC Flight Data, and Assistant Sector Control. All these duties are intertwined to one degree or another, and hands-on experience performing them is invaluable in understanding the complexities of modern Naval Air Traffic Control.

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