One of my ideal goals for this blog is to have first-hand perspectives of what different career fields are like, and this post is one step toward that goal. I asked an ABM to write up a quick summary of what being an ABM is like as if a potential recruit asked them personally, and what I received is written below.
I am very interested in populating this “Career Fields” category with whatever personal accounts I can get my hands on. One way to give back to this blog is to write up a quick perspective of whatever career field you are personally knowledgeable of, whether that is as an officer or as an enlisted member looking in from the outside. Thank you for your support.
In a game of chess, each piece has its own acceptable level of risk with the King and Queens’ acceptable level of risk being the lowest. The one moving each piece to win the game (war) is the ABM. Think of each piece on the Chess Board as a US/Ally asset, and protecting the King and Queen is the Commander’s (CC) intent. The ABMs job is to make the correct moves to ensure the asset is in the optimal position to gain/maintain a tactical advantage to protect the King and Queen. ABMs have a vast amount of knowledge of both, friendly and adversary, weapons systems/capabilities, and they are trained to make tactical decisions that will aid in establishing/sustaining air dominance. Additionally, ABMs learn to control several mission sets such as: Air-to-Air engagements, Air-to-Ground engagements, Air-to-Air Refueling, Combat Search and Rescue, and many others. This job requires on-the-spot critical thinking and the ability to make the necessary decisions to meet the commander’s intent. The 9-month Undergraduate Air Battle Management Training (UABMT) course starts at Tyndall AFB, FL. There, you will obtain the knowledge and skills to provide effective Command and Control (C2) throughout your assigned Area of Responsibility (AOR). Once completed, you will be sent to Tinker AFB, Oklahoma (AWACS), Robins AFB, GA (JSTARS), or a Control and Reporting Center/Battle Control Center (CRC/BCC), where you will learn to control on your assigned weapons system. All in all, the Air Battle Manager is responsible for synchronizing U.S./Allied weapons, sensors, and fuel to meet the CC’s intent, based on the overall acceptable level of risk.