By Sgt. Joseph TruckleyOctober 31, 2019
Brian A. Mixon, Air Traffic and Airspace Officer, Hunter Army Airfield, was awarded the Air Traffic Control Manager of the Year award by the Air Traffic Control Association Oct. 22 in Washington D.C.
This award, formally known as the General E. R. Quesada Memorial Award, is a medallion award presented to an individual for outstanding achievement and contribution during the previous year as an ATCM.
"This is a career highlight for me," said Mixon. "This is a national-level award that recognizes the military manager, which I am proud to be not only nominated, but also representing the Army because the award is open to all branches of the military."
Mixon has worked more than 40 years as an ATC technician and ATCM. This is his third national-level award that he has received, but his first as an individual.
As an ATC technician and acting commander for the 11th Air Traffic Control Platoon, Company E, 111th Aviation Regiment in Jacksonville, Florida, Mixon's unit won ATC Unit of the Year for the whole Army in 1988. Then, when Mixon was a maintenance officer with the same unit, they won the Maintenance Excellence Award for the entire National Guard in 1994.
Air traffic controllers are responsible for tracking planes and giving landing and takeoff instructions at air traffic control facilities.
"The main focus here is to train up units and deploy them rapidly. The air component piece is the rapid deployment; moving Soldiers and large groups with the capability of movement throughout the world," Mixon said.
"Hunter Airfield is one of the premier power projection platforms in the Army, and we have a large airfield and one of the longest runways, which enables us to land any type of aircraft," Mixon said. "We have deployed thousands of Soldiers and equipment out of HAAF since I have been ATCM here."
Several accomplishments contributed to Mixon winning this award.
Mixon is involved in numerous facets of the installation in regards to air traffic and airspace on airfields and heliports, training, master planning, construction projects, instrument approach procedures, unmanned aerial systems, aircraft noise, and environmental factors concerning airspace.
In January 2019, Mixon's ATC excellence was on display during the U.S. Army Air Traffic Services Command Quality Assurance Evaluation. This evaluation was conducted by Air Traffic Services Command. The ATC operations and training received an overall score of 98 percent, and Mixon received a 100 percent commendable as the air traffic and air space officer.
Mixon was also highly involved during the recent Wright Army Airfield/Mid-Coast Regional Airport area development plan workshop where he developed the preferred alternate layout for the 50-year master plan for the critical joint-use military and civilian regional airport. He has served as a major installation subject matter expert on the Army Airspace Management Operational Planning Team during five separate events over the last year.
Mixon also served from 1980 to 1984 in the U.S. Army, and then transitioned to the National Guard until he retired in 1997. He has been an ATC for the Department of the Army from 1988 to present.
"This is an individual award, but to me, it is also an award for the Army team," said Mixon.