Linebacker of the Week: Staff Sgt. Justin Vaillant

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Emily Saxton

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Justin Vaillant, the air traffic control tower senior watch supervisor, was recognized as the 36th Wing’s Team Andersen Linebacker of the Week, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Dec. 6, 2023.

The Team Andersen Linebacker of the Week recognizes outstanding enlisted, officer, civilian and total force personnel who have had an impact on achieving Team Andersen’s mission, vision and priorities.

As the ATC tower senior watch supervisor, Vaillant is the crew lead for a seven-person team, scheduling 24/7 operations for five ATC positions monthly, while coordinating the safe and efficient flow of 13,000 air operations. He is the training lead for 14 personnel, adhering to strict Federal Aviation Administration regulations for 279 specialty training standards. Additionally, Vaillant represents the groups interests and support capabilities as the lead air operations subject matter expert for optimized resilient basing and landing zone operations for expeditionary airfields. He manages the additional duties for 17 programs while leading 34 program managers through the allocation of resources, risks and contingency plans. Furthermore, Vaillant monitors and updates the readiness of the flight ensuring medical flying statuses are current.

“My favorite part of being an air traffic controller is even though I have one of the most stressful jobs on the planet, the ability to overcome that stress is extremely rewarding,” said Vaillant. “Controlling aircraft is extraordinarily empowering and exciting.”

Vaillant was instrumental to the success of an airlift operation which transported a $10 million deployable navigation aid system to Andersen AFB for post-typhoon recovery. He oversaw air traffic control operations for exercises Mobility Guardian and Rally in the Pacific. He trained 14 personnel o the procedural control of air defense aircraft and sensitive/special operations in coordination with the North American Aerospace Defense Command. Vaillant’s work ethic led him to be selected for the noncommissioned officer in charge position of standards and evaluation, and air traffic control training.

“Leading by example inspires the team,” said Vaillant. “That inspiration becomes contagious and can lead to an increase in trust and productivity within said team, inevitably promoting morale and success.”

The term Linebacker is rooted deep within Team Andersen’s history. Operation Linebacker II took place on Dec. 18, 1972, and was the largest number of heavy bomber strikes launched by the U.S. Air Force since the end of World War II. During the operation, B-52s from Andersen flew round-the-clock bombing missions over North Vietnam to destroy major targets in Hanoi and Haiphong in an effort to bring the Democratic Republic of Vietnam back to negotiations.

The recipient will have the opportunity to sign a “Linebacker” football jersey that will be displayed in the Wing Headquarters building.

Way to go, Vaillant!