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The eye in the sky

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgts. Joshua Barich and Staff Sgt. Kevin Boyd, 334th Training Squadron Command and Control Battle Management Operations apprentice course instructors, pose for a photo inside Matero Hall at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, June 24, 2021. The radar is used by C2BMOs to provide safe use of the airspace by tracking aircraft, planning missions, and monitoring the skies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jasmine Galloway)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgts. Joshua Barich and Staff Sgt. Kevin Boyd, 334th Training Squadron Command and Control Battle Management Operations apprentice course instructors, pose for a photo inside Matero Hall at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, June 24, 2021. The radar is used by C2BMOs to provide safe use of the airspace by tracking aircraft, planning missions, and monitoring the skies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jasmine Galloway)

The TPS-75 Radar is displayed inside of Matero Hall at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, June 24, 2021. The radar is used by Command and Control Battle Management Operations to provide safe use of the airspace by tracking aircraft, planning missions, and monitoring the skies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jasmine Galloway)

The TPS-75 Radar is displayed inside of Matero Hall at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, June 24, 2021. The radar is used by Command and Control Battle Management Operations to provide safe use of the airspace by tracking aircraft, planning missions, and monitoring the skies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jasmine Galloway)

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --

Keesler Air Force Base supports the critical mission to keep the skies protected and has a vast range of career fields that helps to keep the fight moving.

“Command and control battle management operations is one of the most diverse career fields in the entire Air Force,” said Technical Sgt. Joshua Barich 334th Training Squadron C2BMO apprentice course instructor. “We track aircraft, plan the missions, control the aircraft at our Control and Reporting Center, and monitor missions on a larger scale at the Air Operation Center.”

Learning the basics of C2BMO for those selected to join this career field is a part of the Keesler training mission.

“Here at Keesler we have a 17-day academic course where we teach them the fundamentals of the career field,” said Barich. “Based on their assignments, whether they go to the Control and Reporting Center or the Air Operations Center, they’ll go to follow on training at Luke Air Force Base or Hurlburt Field Air Force Base.”

Staff Sgt. Kevin Boyd, 334th Training Squadron C2BMO apprentice course instructor, explained that C2BMO’s missions is to provide safe use of the airspace in contingency operations.

“An aircraft doesn’t just fly through an airspace and drops a bomb on a target,” said Boyd. “There’s a lot of coordination that goes into that, as well as getting gas into the air, intelligence reports, electronic warfare, all of that has to be coordinated by someone and that someone is us as C2BMO operators. People don’t realize they need us until they do, or they get into that deployed environment and realize what we do. ”

The reason we fight can be different for every person and every unit.

“We’re the ones that protect the sky, any aircraft that is a possible threat we will intercept and defuse that threat, whether its air threats or missile threats,” said Barich. “I would like to think we are the fight, protecting our friendly assets and resources from all enemy attacks.”