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Doghouse hosts first joint UABMT graduation

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Briana Beavers
  • 33rd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Junior officers from the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps graduated from the 337th Air Control Squadron’s Undergraduate Air Battle Manager Training course, April 12, 2024.  

The students of class 24005 successfully completed a seven-month course becoming the joint force’s newest Air Battle Managers and making history as the first integrated class to complete the training.  

“In the past, there was an integration of Marine concepts in our syllabus,” said Capt. Amanda Villegas, 337th ACS class 24005 commander and ABM instructor. “Throughout the course we noticed that those concepts had changed and it was a major reality check. It highlighted what we needed to learn from each other in order to operate appropriately as one big force.” 

The 337th ACS ‘Doghouse’ has an extensive syllabus that trains students to provide command and control in subjects ranging from defensive and offensive counter-air operations, aircraft capabilities and limitations, suppression of enemy air defenses, and more.  

Throughout the course, the students were challenged to learn the proper skills to perform air battle management while overcoming cultural distinctions.    

“One thing I noticed at the start of the course was the cultural difference,” Villegas said. “Each branch has their own standards and culture, so that has been an adjustment on both parts. It was nice to see what we could learn from them to better ourselves and vice versa.” 

This difference sparked a decision to merge occupational specialty codes between the two branches. 

“The Marine Corps is currently in the process of combining the Air Defense and Direct Air Support Center career fields," said U.S. Marine Corps 1st Lt. Jacqueline Sapitro, 337th ACS UABMT course graduate. “These career fields combined are essentially an ABM.” 

Learning the nuances between the two services’ aerial capabilities is essential for joint force interoperability and effective collaboration in multi-domain operations. 

“I have gained a deep understanding of airspace management, radar systems, tactical decision-making, and other critical aspects of air battle management,” said U.S. Marine Corps 1st Lt. Heather Moore, 337th ACS UABMT course graduate. “This has enhanced my effectiveness as a leader in air defense and as an operator within the Marine Corps.” 

Not only did the course strengthen the students’ overall abilities, but it promoted a sense of camaraderie and pride.  

“The staff was exceptionally encouraging, supportive, and knowledgeable,” Sapitro said. “They helped me learn how to overcome the errors I was making and ensured my success in this course. I’m proud to be a part of paving the way for future Marines and ABMs alike to work in a joint environment.” 

Now that the new graduates are equipped with a comprehensive understanding of joint operations and air battle management, they are ready to lead the way in shaping future combat. 

With the success of this course, the Doghouse looks to continue integration by enrolling two USMC students and a USMC instructor this year.