Naval Station (NAVSTA) Norfolk’s Air Operations department was recognized by local CBS affiliate WTKR-TV (Channel 3) as their “Military Unit of the Month” for August. Each month the station features a military unit within the Hampton Road area as a way to educate viewers on the local military.
The Air Operations department based at Chambers Field at NAVSTA Norfolk coordinates nearly 50,000 flights each year. The personnel are responsible for directing aircrafts and vehicles that transit throughout the airport area and ensure all flights in and out go on in an orderly expeditious safe flow.
“This job is very rewarding,” stated Air Traffic Controller Petty Officer 2nd Class Spencer George of NAVSTA Norfolk Air Operations Department. “I feel the more progress you make with it and put into it the more you get out of it. We have all the qualifications that someone working at another airport such as Norfolk or Baltimore have so it also helps for those transitioning to the civilian sector after serving in the military.”
The Chambers Field air operations department is home to 18 different squadrons that fly both helicopters and fixed-wing aircrafts. The squadrons utilize an 8,400 foot long runway for the purpose of taking off and landing.
Air operations and in particular, the air tower is manned 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They are ready at all times to receive, send off, and offer services to any type of aircraft to include those carrying Distinguished Visitors. This year alone they welcomed the President of the United States (U.S.) Donald Trump, the Vice President of the U.S. Mike Pence, the Secretary of the Navy Kenneth Braithwaite and the Secretary of Defense Mark Esper. Foreign dignitaries have also utilized Chamber Fields airport to fly in and out for different occasions.
The mission of NAVSTA Norfolk Chambers Field is to support the operational readiness of the United States Atlantic Fleet, primarily by providing facilities and services to support the missions of its tenant commands.
There is approximately 230 plus sailors that work in the Air Operations department at NAVSTA Norfolk Chambers Field. The administrative department in air operations handles the majority of the paperwork for their sailors so they can focus primarily on their job at hand.
“We ensure our sailors are taken care of and their paperwork is handled in a timely manner so the rest of air operations can carry out the mission without a hitch,” said Aviation Boatswain's Mate Aircraft Handler Petty Officer 2nd Class Diona Woods, NAVSTA Norfolk Air Operations Department. “The thing I enjoy most about my job is getting to interact and learn from all the Sailors that we assist.”
The Chambers Field air operations department is vital to the everyday mission at NAVSTA Norfolk.