424 ABS celebrates 10 years

CHIEVRES AIR BASE, Belgium — “Ten years is a short existence as a squadron, but we are in a unique position to build a legacy,” explained U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Kevin D. Coughlin, 424th Air Base Squadron commander. “Our attitude, our culture and our drive will influence our squadron’s culture for years to come.”

Airmen from the 424th ABS, also known as the ‘Red Devils,’ hosted a three-day event to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the squadron, Oct. 11-13.

“We are a small and diverse squadron with a unique opportunity to work and learn from our joint and NATO partners,” said Coughlin. “Every ABS has their own unique construct, but what makes us different is having 17 Air Force Specialty Careers that make up our squadron that would traditionally fall into various groups throughout a wing.”

The 424th ABS is a geographically separated unit of the 86th Airlift Wing at Ramstein Air Base, and it is located at U.S. Army Garrison-Benelux, Belgium. Their primary mission is to operate a NATO airfield in support of Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe and other distinguished visitors from any of the 30 NATO nations.

The 424th Air Base Squadron takes a group of local farmers to the air traffic control tower at SHAPE Airfield-Chièvres Air Base, Belgium, Oct. 11. While there the group was able to watch the 37th Airlift Squadron from Ramstein Air Base practice cargo aerial drop maneuvers as an example of why this flight line is crucial for NATO’s mission readiness.

“While they deal with a steep learning curve, the Airmen of the 424th ABS truly embody the Air Force Core Values of ‘service before self’ and ‘excellence in all we do,’ taking ownership and responsibility of the different programs and proving the best service and products as possible,” expressed Master Sgt. Stephen Spader, 424th ABS senior enlisted leader and Security Forces section chief.

In celebration of 10 years of hard work and partnership with the local community, the 424th ABS hosted a farmer’s breakfast with a static display of a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft and squadron overview, which included an in-person survival evasion resistance and escape training with Airmen from the 86th Operations Support Squadron from Ramstein Air Base. The events also included a spouse’s day and an anniversary barbecue with closing remarks from Coughlin.

Airmen assigned to the 37th Airlift Squadron from Ramstein Air Base, help the 424th Air Base Squadron to host local farmers at SHAPE Airfield-Chièvres Air Base, Belgium, Oct. 11. The 37th AS demonstrated their airdrop capability and a flyover in a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft. After the demonstration, the farmers took part in a tour of the aircraft.

“The Red Devils are a team of humble professionals that are experts at their job,” Coughlin said. “As their commander, I never worry about their ability to safely and effectively accomplish the mission.”

As well as supporting DV airlift, Airmen from the 424th ABS operate a tactical landing zone and three drop zones in support of tactical flying training for both USAFE-AFAFRICA and NATO.

“Bottom line, I’m proud of all the work the squadron has done to build relationships to strengthen joint, host nation, and NATO partnerships that improve our overall interoperability,” Coughlin expressed. “Building meaningful relationships takes professionalism and humility.”

Members from the 424th Air Base Squadron prepare breakfast for local farmers at SHAPE Airfield-Chièvres Air Base, Belgium, Oct. 11. The 424th ABS invited the local farming community to join them in a celebratory breakfast and immersion day in honor of their growing partnership.
Local farmers that work in the area surrounding the flight line at SHAPE Airfield-Chièvres Air Base, Belgium, plate some pancakes and sausage, Oct. 11. The breakfast was hosted by the 424th Air Base Squadron in honor of the support from the local farmers who work on the land surrounding the flightline.
The 424th Air Base Squadron welcomes local farmers to their Red Devils room at SHAPE Airfield-Chièvres Air Base, Belgium, Oct. 11. The event offered the 424th ABS and local farmers an opportunity to have open discussions about the 424th ABS mission, responsibilities and appreciation for allowing our flight line to pass through the farmland.