Air Battle Manager 13BX

Welcome back to commission, Ed. I’m Reed. Today we’re going to talk about another AFSC that is very Air force specific. That is the 13 Bravo, or air battle manager.

The air battle manager is a much lesser known rated career field within the air force. And by rated, we mean that they carry an aeronautical rating. They are flying. That is their primary duty. But it is such a small career field that very few people actually understand how truly critical and important it is to what we do in the Air force.

Yeah, we were really fortunate to have a guest come on our podcast. We’ve got a link in the description below to where you can find that to describe that career field in depth. Today we’re going to kind of give some wave top coverage of what that is. But the easiest way to describe it is they control the dance. That is air power. They are airborne command and control battlefield management.

Yes, they are the ones who are in the skies most typically telling other aircraft where they need to go, what they need to do, and when they need to do it.

In addition to directing that air war and that air fight, they’re also providing a lot of battlefield awareness. Where is the adversary? What are they doing? Where are they going? That type of dynamic when aircraft are moving at 500 knots and there’s a whole lot of them, you can kind of see how this could get really complicated really fast.

Yeah, absolutely. The kind of person who is going to succeed very well in the air battle management career field is really good at problem solving, multitasking, and most importantly, communicating concisely and clearly what needs to happen and why and when.

Exactly. In our interview with the air battle manager that we had on our podcast, one thing he mentioned a lot was how important communication was. I think that’s a good point for us to transition to talk about training. Training is nine months and it’s pretty intensive, but it’s going to follow a similar pattern to what we’ve seen with the other rated career fields, where you focus heavy on academics, start to bring in some simulations, then you actually start having actual flights. And then as you become more proficient, you move away from academics into more simulations and flights.

Yeah, exactly. And you’re going to follow the same selection process to get into the ABM career field as you would for pilot or sizzo or remotely piloted aircraft. If you volunteer for one, you volunteer for all of them. But because it’s such a small and critically manned career field, if you are qualified and interested in becoming an ABM, chances are that you’re probably going to get it and like Reed was saying, you’ll then go to undergraduate air battle management training, or UABMT, which is located at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida.

After you graduate with this training, well, upon graduation, you’re going to have a drop night not too dissimilar from the other rated career fields, although instead of the aircraft that you’re getting selected for, there’s only one, the Awax, the e three sentry. You’re going to get dropped for different locations. There are not a whole lot of locations, but they are very busy, and this is such a high demand asset and a high demand need that you’re going to deploy a lot. So even though you may be assigned to a location, expect a lot of deployment.

Absolutely. And the primary location for air battle managers is tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma. That is where the vast majority of the e three sentries or the Awax platform is assigned. And so if you become an ABM, you can absolutely expect to spend some time there. In Oklahoma City, there are a couple.

Other locations that you can expect to spend some time. There’s a few in Japan, there’s some in Alaska and some others on the east coast. But by and large, that’s where you’re going to be. There’s a few opportunities to head up to NATO and work over in Germany, but by and large, like you said, expect some time in Oklahoma for sure.

And like the other rated career fields, the developmental opportunities for air battle managers are wide and varied and very important to the process of turning you into someone who can eventually command not just at the squadron level, but at the group, the wing, and above in the employment of aircraft and air power on behalf of the american people.

If you love working in a team, there are fewer career fields out there that are as tightly integrated as the Abmer. They fly in a small crew. They have an incredibly high vis, high pressure, high ops tempo mission, and they’re going to be part of the fight no matter where we are from now and going into the future.

Absolutely. We need great officers who are competent, who are able to connect with others, to communicate clearly, share that vision, and have that high level of character that will enable them to serve at any level within the air force, bringing those effects, directing aircraft, making sure that we accomplish the mission regardless of where we may find ourselves. This is not a capability that’s going to go away anytime soon. We had a great discussion about the importance of this capability, and we don’t see that it’s going to be replaced by artificial intelligence or anything like that anytime soon because we have to have good people who can do this job at any time where the Air Force needs them.

Yeah, absolutely. If you have any questions about the air battle management career field, we’ve got some links in the description below to some information, as well as reach out to us. We’d love to get in touch with you and to provide you with any information that we have or to put you in touch with the right people so that you can get the answers you’re looking for.

Absolutely. We invite you to join us in the heritage room, engage with us through our social media platform. Send us an email, Air Force officerpodcast. At that way, if you have any questions, anything that we haven’t been able to answer before, we can definitely put you in touch with the right person.

Thanks for tuning in this week to commission Ed.

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