Poland hosts first Deployable Air Base System exercise

by Petty Officer 2nd Class
Deanna C. Gonzales
Defense Media Activity Europe/Africa

U.S. Air National Guard Airmen guide a Volvo 6710B Grader vehicle onto an off-loading dock during the Deployable Air Base System proof of concept exercise at the 31st Tactical Air Base, Poznan-Krzesiny, Poland, July 30. The exercise tests and enhances the ability to rapidly deploy within theatre, preposition equipment and enables the execution of current operations, exercises and contingencies. — Photo by Spc. Craig Jensen


31st TACTICAL AIR BASE, Poznan-Krzesiny, Poland The joint team tested their ability to quickly process, deploy and set up facilities, equipment and vehicles as part of the European Contingency Air Operations Sets in a location where little or no infrastructure exists.

“Having the Deployable Air Base System capability allows for a rapid, flexible response to any type of contingency that the Air Force in Europe would need to respond to and in any location within the area of responsibility,” said Capt. Alex John, logistics readiness officer for U.S. Air Forces in Europe.

There are currently no DABS kits in the U.S. Air Force inventory. Procurement for the kits began in fiscal year 2018, and multiple DABS kits will be purchased and stored throughout Europe over the next several years.

U.S. Air National Guard Airmen guide a truck to an off-loading dock during the Deployable Air Base System proof of concept exercise at the 31st Tactical Air Base, Poznan-Krzesiny, Poland, July 30. — Photo by Spc. Craig Jensen

“What we’re trying to do is buy enough sets that when you look 360 degrees from wherever the threat might come in Europe, that we can easily set up base operations to generate sorties,” said Brig. Gen. Roy Agustin, director of logistics, engineering, and force protection, U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa.

DABS packages will include facilities, equipment, vehicles, and health service support. They will allow the Air Force to have valuable equipment on location to support USAFE operations, actions, and activities.

“Deployable Air Base Systems enhance pre-positioned equipment right here in theater and cuts the amount of airlift you would need to bring over additional air assets because it’s already here,” said Agustin. “You cut on time [getting combat ready], airlift, and you can set up a base sooner, with less of a footprint.”

The exercise allowed the Airmen and Soldiers to train together as a joint force and provided an invaluable opportunity to demonstrate their commitment and ability to quickly and effectively respond to regional crises.

This exercise sets the standard for future exercises and real world DABS activation.

The following units participated in the DABS proof of concept exercise: the 435th Construction and Training Squadron, Ramstein Air Base; 200th RED HORSE Squadron Detachment 1, Ohio Air National Guard; 201st RED HORSE Squadron Detachment 1, Pennsylvania Air National Guard; 52nd Logistics Readiness Squadron, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany; 203rd RED HORSE Squadron, Virginia Air National Guard; 164th Logistics Readiness Squadron, Tennessee Air National Guard; 145th Mission Support Group, North Carolina Air National Guard; 86th Vehicle Readiness Squadron, Ramstein Air Base; 1st Combat Communications Squadron, Ramstein Air Base; 182nd Civil Engineering Squadron, Illinois Air National Guard; 187th Logistics Readiness Squadron, Alabama Air National Guard; 219th RED HORSE Squadron, Montana Air National Guard; Air Force Reserve Command, Robbins Air Force Base Georgia; 137th Logistics Readiness Squadron, Oklahoma Air National Guard; 183rd Civil Engineering Squadron, Illinois Air National Guard; 31st RED HORSE Flight, Camp Darby, Italy; and U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa A4, Ramstein Air Base.