TAN SON NHUT --- "It's Our Job To Get You Home" could very well be the motto of Tri-Service Air Traffic Coordinating Office -- a small section here charged with a big task.
Everyone in the Republic of Vietnam get his seat home on a sleek airliner from the Tri-Service ATCO, Capt. Stevan R. Callegos chief of the section explained. We coordinate air transportation for all personnel departing Vietnam, based on the individual seating requirements between the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.
"Aircraft are assigned from the 22d Air Force at Travis AFB, Calif., about 40 days prior to each month of travel," he continued.
"About 10 days after the aircraft are assigned we obtain the user requirements from the services concerned for that particular month, then we allocate seats according to the requirements. These go out approximately 25 days prior to the month of travel, giving the passenger that amount of time as minimum notification," the captain related.
The section is the only multi-service ATCO in the Republic and each month processes an average of 50,000 departing personnel scheduling them on nearly 260 flights. These are routed via the five MAC channels out of country: Tan Son Nhut and Bien Hoa Air Bases to Travis; Bien Hoa AB to McGuire AFB, N.J.; Cam Ranh Bay AB to McChord AFB, Wash.; and Da Nang AB to Norton AFB, Calif.
In addition, everyone leaving Vietnam for Japan, Korea, Guam, Okinawa, the Republic of the Philippines and Taiwan is processed on a flight by Tri-Service ATCO, Captain Callegos pointed out.
"For those going on TDY or emergency leave from other than Saigon," he added, "the local ATCO at each channel has control of the aircraft seats. All U.S. Department of Defense contractor civilians must leave Vietnam out of Saigon exclusively."
Since each seat on a MAC charter flight from Saigon to Travis AFB costs an average of
$165, the section's complex job of insuring every seat on every departing flight is filled is made even more important. Tri-Service ATCO accomplishes this job with high accuracy and efficiency, averaging 98 per cent of full utilization of all the seats that are available each month.