Base Defense Squadron Airmen adapt to change during Exercise AGILE BLIZZARD UNIFIED VISION

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Samuel Burns
  • 507th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. - Nine 824th Base Defense Squadron (BDS) Airmen from Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, jumped out of a 910th Airlift Wing C-130 Hercules in true representation of Agile Combat Employment (ACE) during Exercise AGILE BLIZZARD-UNIFIED VISION, June 13.

The 824th BDS and 7th Air Support Operations Squadron (ASOS) from Fort Bliss, Texas, worked together to provide reconnaissance, security, and humanitarian efforts in a simulated foreign environment.

Despite scheduling and location changes, the team was able to demonstrate their agility by executing the mission at Clinton Sherman Airport, Oklahoma.

“During this exercise, we had some very real-world situations come up, requiring us to change our drop zone,” said Master Sgt. Tyler Martin, 35th Combat Communications Squadron plans NCO in charge. “They were able to scout a new airfield and secure it within 6 hours. After 17 years in the Air Force, I did not think this was possible, but we pulled it off.”

This operation encapsulated the concept of Multi-Capable Airman, enabling a small security team to drop to the ground and set up communications with the command center, over 100 miles away at Tinker AFB, as fast as possible.

After securing the airfield, the C-130 landed and executed an engine-running offload, in which the aircraft took off quickly while supplying more security personnel, including four members from the 507th Security Forces Squadron (SFS) at Tinker AFB.

“We brought a small team to show we have the capability to get in quickly and secure a landing site for Air Force assets to move in and out in an agile environment,” said Staff Sgt. Dakota Lesak, 820th Base Defense Group NCOIC of exercises. “This is our proof of concept of how we can move and set up at different locations.”

The exercise continued with the 824th BDS, 7th ASOS, and 507th SFS Airmen relocation to Cushing Municipal Airport, Oklahoma, to further test their Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities.

The BDS Airmen simulated combat encounters with opposing forces, with an RQ-20 Puma Unmanned Aerial System from the 820th Base Defense Group flying above, allowing the surveillance team to gather intelligence on the opposition.

“The point of [Exercise AGILE BLIZZARD-UNIFIED VISION] is not to say we can do these things, but to show we can do them,” said Martin.

By the end of the week, the BDG, SFS, and ASOS Airmen amplified their ability to adapt to and stand ready to counter near-peer threats.

The BDS drop was one of many operations conducted during AB-UV, which saw Air Combat Command combined with Air Force Reserve Command, Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal Canadian Navy, and NATO allies build coalition partnerships in the Arctic regions.