The 435th Contingency Response Group held their fourth iteration of exercise Agile Wolf to strengthen their tactics, techniques and procedures for establishing airfields in austere environments, May 26 – 28.
Agile Wolf provides the 435th CRG an opportunity to train on their various skill sets locally, saving the Air Force travel costs while still achieving their goals.
“Agile Wolf is an exercise that grows every time we do it, but the overall objective remains the same,” said Capt. Richard Boyle, 435th Contingency Response Squadron contingency response director of operations. “Our goal is to be able to grab different Airmen from our units, from various career fields, and make sure they can work together and operate bare-base by building our tents and operating the runway.”
This iteration of Agile Wolf included more than 30 Air Force specialties. Due to the vast functions the unit provides, leadership ensured the exercise was as robust as possible.
“The objective of Agile Wolf is to provide low-cost local training that’s tailorable, scalable and allows proficiency training for our core mission sets, which are opening airfields, command and control, quick-turn maintenance, aerial port maintenance, and landing zone assessments and surveys,” said Lt. Col. Sean McCurdy, 435th CRS commander.
The 37th Airlift Squadron provided airlift for the 435th CRG paratroopers, so they could practice descending into the airfield which they would then assess. The U.S. Army also provided aircrew and a CH-47 Chinook helicopter to give Airmen the opportunity to practice sling load operations. The joint effort bolstered the 435th CRG’s interoperational capabilities.
“To be here at home and be able to practice skills that are required for real world operations is vital and allows our partners and allies to rely on us,” Boyle said.
As the sole unit in U.S. Air Forces in Europe — Air Forces Africa that provides expeditionary airfields on demand, the 435th CRG utilizes and deploys small specialized teams throughout both continents to successfully implement their mission.
“Agile Wolf provides a great venue to explore new capabilities as we seek to bring on either new equipment or new manpower in the future,” McCurdy said. “We have to be ready to go out the door at a moment’s notice and maintain a high state of training and readiness.”
By executing the Agile Wolf exercises on a recurring basis, the 435th CRG boosts their confidence, flexibility and capability to assist and work with allies and partner nations.
“Agile Wolf is a great way to integrate our USAFE joint and coalition partners to enhance interoperability, as well as to demonstrate our collective security throughout the theater,” McCurdy said. “In doing this, we build partnership capacity throughout the region as well as create a formidable deterrent for any theater actors.”
The 435th CRG will continue to hold these exercises in the future, offering Airmen the training necessary to conduct operations anywhere at any time.