424th ABS activates under new mission

by 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

CHIÈVRES AIR BASE, Belgium — The 309th Airlift Squadron stationed on Chièvres Air Base, Belgium, was redesignated as the 424th Air Base Squadron during a ceremony Oct. 12.

The redesignation comes after the last airlift component from the 309th AS moved to Ramstein. The 424th ABS at Chièvres now provides airfield support for DV and NATO transient aircraft.

The 309th Airlift Squadron was a tenant unit on Chièvres AB under U.S. Army Garrison Benelux.

“It is with these fine Airmen that we will open a new chapter for the 424th Air Base Squadron starting today,” said Lt. Col. Tracy W. Patterson, 424th ABS commander.
The unit flew a single C-37A and provided airlift support for the supreme allied commander, Europe and the commander of U.S. Africa Command. Structurally, the 309th AS was more of a small wing than a squadron with all the normal wing missions.

“Despite the significant challenges of operating a NATO airfield on an Army garrison in the middle of actively cultivated fields in Belgium, the 309th set the standard,” said Col. William R. Ward, 86th Operations Group commander, during the redesignation ceremony.

With the departure of the C-37A last spring, the aircrews and operations support personnel followed over the next several months.

“This significant mission shift required a corresponding organization shift and that is where the 424th Air Base Squadron re-enters the picture,” Ward said.