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337th ACS continues mission through COVID-19

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Heather Leveille
  • 33rd Fighter Wing

COVID-19 has brought many new challenges to units across the United States Air Force, but each unit has found ways to fight through while reducing the risk of exposure. For the 337th Air Control Squadron, Air Battle Managers have continued to train and graduate.

“We have continued to graduate students through our course as planned with class sizes of 8 students rather than 12, and we have implemented split operations for our squadron and students in order to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19,” said Senior Airman Jordyn Jones, 337th ACS weapons simulation technician.

In addition to reducing class sizes and separating operations, students from each team worked different days and hours and were not allowed to be in contact with any student from the other team.

“Face masks are required to be worn at all times and hand sanitizer is located at all entry points,” said Jones. “All briefings are either online or are held in the auditorium where they can maintain a six-foot distance between themselves.”

With these added measures, future Air Battle Managers can focus on training for the critical role they play in the operational Air Force.

“Air Battle Managers perform the tactical and operational command and control for the Combatant Commanders, said Maj. Michael Davis, 337th ACS director of operations. “Command and Control is a core mission for the USAF and battle management is a force multiplier in combat operations.”

Maintaining mental fitness during COVID-19 has been a challenge and leaders across the Air Force are trying to find ways to help their Airmen.

“Teamwork is paramount to the command and control community, especially in the dynamic schoolhouse setting with an ever-changing and complex schedule,” said Davis. “Each Airmen helps their teammates out on the ops floors, classroom, and with life events, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Supervisors from the 337th ACS made care packages for Airmen in the dorms, flight chiefs dropped off food for those who had to be in quarantine, and many Airmen received a personal call from the commander.

“We trust each other to make good decisions outside of work to not threaten the health of all of us here,” said Jones. “We trust our leadership to be transparent with all of the changes that occur and we trust that they have the best intentions for us and for our safety when they decide how to move forward with our mission.”

Throughout the past year, Air Battle Managers have continued to graduate on time.

“We strengthened our ability to adapt and overcome in challenging circumstances and proved that we could still carry on our mission, even during a global pandemic,” said Jones.