Story and photos by Airman 1st Class Jared Lovett
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs September 30, 2022
The 435th Contingency Response Group conducted Exercise Agile Wolf 22 at Koszalin, Poland, Sep. 11-20.
Exercise Agile Wolf is a scalable airfield opening exercise that provides an increased number and variety of training opportunities, promotes innovation, and strengthens partnerships within the 435th Air Ground Operations Wing and around Ramstein Air Base.
“This exercise puts our Airmen in an agile combat employment environment where they have to utilize problem-solving techniques and puts their knowledge to the test in a controlled space,” said Lt. Col. Matt Stewart, Contingency Response Squadron commander. “This ultimately allows our team to hone their skills, push their limits, and increase readiness for real-world events when they arise.”
The exercise kicked off with Airmen building a fully functioning remote base in two hours to use as their base camp for the duration of the exercise. Capabilities such as this, allow the 435th CRG and its partner units within the 435th AGOW to rapidly deploy anywhere within the United States Air Forces in Europe area of responsibility in a short amount of time.
“Our team is constantly training to survive in a deployed environment,” said Senior Master Sgt. Andrew Gravett, 435th CRS senior enlisted leader. “They put that training to the test twice a year and set up a roof over their heads, a power grid, running water, communications systems, and everything else a base requires.”
Over 80 Airmen, across 39 career fields, from the 435th CRG participated in the exercise and ranged in services including aerial port, maintenance, security, medical, communications, and many more. The Airmen of the 435th CRG open airbases in support of joint partners and allies creating a logistics hub that can quickly reach the forward edge of any contingency to muster sustainable operations.
“We constantly have to do these exercises to ensure that we’re ready to walk out of the door at a moment’s notice with the ability to assess, open, and operate an air base,” said Gravett.
Recently, the 435th CRG played a pivotal role supporting Ukraine in their fight against Russian aggression by operating in Poland.
“Our Contingency Response Group deployed to Southeast Poland to assess airfield options and open an air base to serve as a major logistical hub. The 435th CRG operated at Jasionka International Airport to receive and facilitate forward movement of aid for Ukrainian warfighters sent by the United States and its allies and partners,” said Stewart.
The ability to successfully accomplish that monumental task depends upon tough unit training and a high state of readiness.
“Agile Wolf enables our team members to take lessons learned from real world operations and train new members to the highest levels in preparation for future contingencies,” said Stewart.
Exercise Agile Wolf has expanded significantly since its inception in 2019 and 435th CRG leadership is always looking to add new and more robust ways to enhance the skills and readiness of its Airmen at all levels.