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CHIÈVRES AIR BASE, Belgium (March 3,2030): In the early stages of any conflict, America’s military will need to launch aircraft from remote locations all over the world, some without runways, buildings, or infrastructure. In this photo by Staff Sergeant Alexandra Longfellow, Air Force Staff Sgts. Mason E-Quantay, top, and Jesus Solis-Zavala, right, 435th Security Forces Squadron contingency response team members, provide security during Exercise Agile Bison 23-1. An Air Force Contingency Response Squadron deploys a unique blend of civil engineers, construction specialists, and air operations folks to forward locations where air operations are nonexistent. These teams establish airfields, construct buildings, and provide water and sanitation to remote locations, often under the threat of enemy fire.

Once an airfield is opened, the Squadron does quick-turn maintenance of aircraft, airfield management, passenger and cargo movement, air traffic control, and force protection. The 435th Security Force is an airborne capable squadron based at Pulaski Barracks, Germany, whose mission is to secure, protect, and defend Air Force weapons systems, personnel, and resources in Europe.

During Exercise Agile Bison 23-1, the 435th established expeditionary airfields using NATO allies and partner bases along with the group’s own personnel, logistics and equipment, while also maintaining force protection during high threat levels.

Exercises like Agile Bison provide realistic training with our NATO allies under a variety of scenarios, from parachuting into forward areas to create runways to defending these remote airfields from enemy attack. In war, victory or defeat might well be decided on which force managed to project air power to far flung locations around the globe.