501st Combat Support Wing enables successful BTF 24-3

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jessica Avallone
  • 501 CSW/PA

For the past month the 501st Combat Support Wing has hosted the 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron as part of Bomber Task Force 24-3. Over that period, Pathfinders seamlessly provided passenger and cargo movement, inprocessing, outprocessing, bed down, feeding and more; further cementing the 501st as the go-to unit for European theater BTF support.

“Getting bed down here at RAF Fairford was extremely efficient,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Ryan Ruedier, 69th EBS director of operations. “[Local] support is huge and here at Fairford it allows us to land and immediately get right to work. I’ve been extremely impressed with how welcoming the community is and greatly appreciate the support.”

BTF missions actively enable and support strategic bomber operations while forward deployed from continental U.S. locations. The personnel who support these missions are critical to the development of enduring advantages and integrated deterrence in the European theater.

The 501st Combat Support Wing provides Base Operating Support – Integrator (BOS-I) at RAF Fairford. This construct allows the Expeditionary Bomb Squadron to focus on maintenance and operations, while the BOS team provides all airfield, logistics, communications, security, force support, and civil engineering support.

“The EBS and BOS team quickly synced efforts to bed down over 200 personnel, setup mission planning cell and maintenance operation center in order to execute operations in minimal time,” said Lt. Col. Eric Rambo, 420th Air Base Squadron commander. “This demonstrates the readiness necessary to carry out contingency operations in support of U-A objectives.”

Strategically bedding down at RAF Fairford allowed four U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress bombers to fly numerous higher headquarters tasked missions and conduct integrated operations with Cyprus, France, Germany, Lithuania, Morocco, Poland, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, increasing military interoperability among partner nations.

“RAF Fairford is built to support bomber operations,” said Rambo. “Its proximity to RAF Welford, the second largest munitions depot in U-A, provides unmatched airfield and munitions support to the Bomber Task Force.”

By creating an environment that fosters seamless agile combat support, Pathfinders enable intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, global strike, and C3 missions for US and NATO operations. BTF 24-3 was another example of how Pathfinders eliminate barriers so others may operate and continue to “Light the Way”.