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In the Spotlight

18 July 2022

From Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Triniti Lersch, Naval Air Station Sigonella Public Affairs Office

Timothy Cornell from Frankfort, Ill. joined the Navy in November 2018 as an Air Traffic Controller. For the past year and a half, he’s worked at Operations, Air Traffic Control on Naval Air Station Sigonella, for his second command tour; his first was NAS Pensacola.
Timothy Cornell from Frankfort, Ill. joined the Navy in November 2018 as an Air Traffic Controller. For the past year and a half, he’s worked at Operations, Air Traffic Control on Naval Air Station Sigonella, for his second command tour; his first was NAS Pensacola.

Cornell’s daily work routine is to receive and process mission critical flight requests supporting seven squadrons, in support of Navy Region Europe, Africa, Central (EURAFCENT) and Fifth Fleet operations.

“My daily duties include coordinating and submitting flight plans for our pilots here at NAS Sigonella as well as submit Notice to Air Missions (NOTAMS) and airfield information. I also coordinate flights with the Italian Air Force and our pilots to make sure their missions are approved as well as coordinating with other air fields.”

“My favorite part of this job is just aviation in general,” said Cornell. “I enjoy seeing the planes and talking to the pilots.”

He holds multiple collateral duties including assistant command fitness leader, airfield driver’s license course instructor/coordinator, second class petty officer association event coordinator and government purchase card holder for his command.

“AC2 Cornell has been the definition of a great Sailor since his arrival in early 2021,” said Air Traffic Controller 1st Class Benjamin Kramer, the Air Traffic Control leading petty officer. “He has qualified within the division as high as allowed and has taken on multiple collaterals which he has exceeded expectations with. He was responsible for ensuring flight requests from U.S. aircraft carriers operating in the Med could file flight plans efficiently and with minimal rework, safeguarding the ongoing missions in the region. He always produces quality work and never hesitates to assist or train his shipmates in any evolution. AC2 Cornell is the standard bearer for other 2nd Class Petty Officers and the example for junior sailors to emulate.”

His proudest accomplishment while in the Navy is his participation in Operation Allied Refuge. During OAR, Cornell had a bunch of different duties. He helped with the initial check-in and biometrics, clean-up crew, volunteering with the USO to provide snacks, drinks and amenities to the refugees as well as coordinating when flights were coming into Sigonella with more refugees.

For Cornell, serving in the military is the opportunity to be part of something bigger than himself.

“You get a great sense of pride when you get to help out with events such as OAR,” said Cornell. “The military is like a family. Everyone is your brother and sister.”

Cornell is planning on starting his degree this upcoming fall semester.

“I plan on starting a Bachelor degree in Aeronautical Science while working towards my pilot’s license,” said Cornell. “I would love to eventually go to Officer Candidate School and become a pilot and fly for the Navy.”

In his free time Cornell enjoys going to the gym, riding his Harley and spending time with his wife and friends.

His favorite quote is “Veni, vidi, vici.” which translates to “I came, I saw, I conquered.”

“No matter what is thrown at me in life I will own it and conquer it,” said Cornell, in regards to his favorite quote.

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