HomeNewsArticle Display

435th AEW Airmen support Operation Octave Quartz

Airmen from the 435th Air Ground Operations Wing and 435th Air Expeditionary Wing execute a short-notice tasker to build-out a base capability in East Africa, Dec. 29, 2020. In addition to the build-out the Airmen repurposed three sleeping buildings into office spaces, expanded kitchen operations by 1,000 square feet, and constructed new fire department berthing tents and an alarm room.

Airmen from the 435th Air Ground Operations Wing and 435th Air Expeditionary Wing execute a short-notice tasker to build-out a base capability in East Africa, Dec. 29, 2020. In addition to the build-out the Airmen repurposed three sleeping buildings into office spaces, expanded kitchen operations by 1,000 square feet, and constructed new fire department berthing tents and an alarm room. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

Airmen from the 435th Air Ground Operations Wing and 435th Air Expeditionary Wing execute a short-notice tasker to build-out a base capability in East Africa, Dec. 29, 2020. The Airmen renovated and developed a 3,000 square foot building to consolidate the Base Defense Operations Center, 475th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron Staff and the U.S. Army’s Task Force Bayonet security forces into a single joint facility.

Airmen from the 435th Air Ground Operations Wing and 435th Air Expeditionary Wing execute a short-notice tasker to build-out a base capability in East Africa, Dec. 29, 2020. The Airmen renovated and developed a 3,000 square foot building to consolidate the Base Defense Operations Center, 475th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron Staff and the U.S. Army’s Task Force Bayonet security forces into a single joint facility. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

Contractors build helicopter pads to support a base build-out tasker in support of Operation Octave Quartz at a base in East Africa, Dec. 23, 2020. The objective of OOQ was to re-posture assets and personnel within Somalia to other locations within the region at the direction of the president of the United States and the acting secretary of defense.

Contractors build helicopter pads to support a base build-out tasker in support of Operation Octave Quartz at a base in East Africa, Dec. 23, 2020. The objective of OOQ was to re-posture assets and personnel within Somalia to other locations within the region at the direction of the president of the United States and the acting secretary of defense. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

Airmen with the 435th Air Ground Operations Wing and the 435th Air Expeditionary Wing work together to construct a field resuscitative surgical tent at a base in East Africa, Dec. 15, 2020. Airmen of the 435th AGOW and 435th AEW took part in the movement of personnel and cargo to support Operation Octave Quartz.

Airmen with the 435th Air Ground Operations Wing and the 435th Air Expeditionary Wing work together to construct a field resuscitative surgical tent at a base in East Africa, Dec. 15, 2020. Airmen of the 435th AGOW and 435th AEW took part in the movement of personnel and cargo to support Operation Octave Quartz. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany (AFNS) --

Airmen of the 435th Air Expeditionary Wing and the 435th Air Ground Operations Wing recently took part in the movement of personnel and cargo to support Operation Octave Quartz, or OOQ.

The objective of OOQ was to re-posture assets and personnel within Somalia to other locations within the region at the direction of the president of the United States and the acting secretary of defense.

“I am extremely proud of both wings for how quickly and safely they accomplished an incredibly challenging mission with professionalism and tenacity,” said Col. Daniel C. Clayton, 435th AGOW and 435th AEW commander. “Once again, our amazing Airmen across Africa and Europe proved their readiness and resiliency, by rapidly responding and effectively executing their mission in the austere conditions and contested environment of East Africa.”

The 435th AEW is the U.S. Air Force’s only Air Forces Africa wing deployed to various locations in Africa. Airmen assigned to the wing had a vital undertaking to rapidly enhance basing solutions in East Africa to essentially double operational capability.

“We had to first understand what missions and number of associated personnel (were) coming to the base,” said Capt. Brandon Gray, 435th AEW Team 3 civil engineering officer. “Then we were able to identify the needed life support assets to begin designing the base layout.”

Once all requirements were known, the team was able to move on to the mechanics of the build-out and transition their focus to expansion.

“There wasn’t enough land on the existing camp to receive the increased population,” Gray said. “One section of the (perimeter) wall had to be removed and a new wall had to be built.”

In addition to expanding, the team had to make other adjustments around the base.

“Our unit had to plan, resource and construct base improvements,” said Maj. Joe Thomas, 475th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron mission support flight commander and OOQ base build-out officer in charge. “With assistance from Air Forces Africa (engineering branch) staff, we designed our base expansion to meet the housing needs of additional troops; sufficient to support all power, water, communications, latrine, laundry, fitness and dining facility requirements.”

In addition, the team consolidated and renovated numerous existing structures to support additional workspaces.

“We renovated and developed a 3,000 square foot building to consolidate the Base Defense Operations Center, 475th EABS Staff and the U.S. Army’s Task Force Bayonet security forces into a single joint facility,” Thomas said. “We repurposed three sleeping buildings into office spaces, expanded the kitchen operations by 1,000 square feet, and constructed new fire department berthing tents and (an) alarm room.”

Airmen of the 435th AEW and 435th AGOW not only proved they could efficiently and effectively execute the demands of the wing’s mission-set with adaptiveness, agility and lethality, but also within the required timeline as one team.

Work to build-out the base began with only five CE and eight communications Airmen. On order, the 435th AEW’s sister wing, the 435th AGOW, provided essential subject matter experts. For the construction and expansion, the 435th Construction and Training Squadron provided 20 CE troops and an additional 12 communications troops; three petroleum, oil and lubrication troops; two services troops; and one contractor were tasked from within the U.S. Air Forces Europe-Air Forces Africa Headquarters staff and TF Bayonet to provide assistance in addition to the relocating units.

“All of the units assigned to relocate played a crucial role in supporting the establishment of berthing locations and work spaces,” said Master Sgt. Carlos Rodriguez, 475th EABS services noncommissioned officer in charge. “Without their support, we would not have been able to meet the hard deadline.”

With the mechanics of the build-out underway, the 435th AEW logistics operations cell worked closely with USAFE-AFAFRICA Joint Operation Planning and Execution System Branch and Logistics Readiness Current Operations Branch teams, the U.S. Embassy, and the Surface Deployment Distribution Command to coordinate transportation of personnel and assets into the area of responsibility.

“It was an air and ground effort,” said Lt. Col. Kristen Moulis, 435th AEW logistics operation cell. “The ground logistics team supported 18 airlift missions moving 442,000 pounds of cargo. Our team crafted a large-scale ground convoy in coordination with the U.S. Embassy and SDDC, launching 22 trucks of cargo.”

The 435th AGOW played a critical role. Teams from the 435th Contingency Response Group and the 435th Air and Space Communications Group provided vital expertise, manpower and equipment to ensure mission success.

In all, the teams worked the retrograde movement actions to reposition AFAFRICA aircraft, personnel and equipment within East Africa that resulted in the movement of 1,279 personnel and 3,364 tons of cargo saving more than $1 million dollars in airlift costs.

“Joint Task Force-Quartz completed our assigned mission ahead of schedule, with all personnel and equipment repositioned safely,” said Maj. Gen. Dagvin Anderson, JTF-Quartz commander. “This operation has been a testament to how far our military has come as a joint force. To come together with little notice, integrate air, sea and land components into a coherent operation, and execute flawlessly in a remote part of the world under a compressed timeline, is nothing short of extraordinary.”

When conducting base expansion operations, units typically expect some resistance, but for the 435th AEW, the resistance was not imposed by the enemy, but rather the clock.

“Our main opposition was time,” Rodriguez said. “(Plus), the availability of resources and contractors on the local economy who could accomplish the task in a timely manner.”

For the logistics cell, “challenges included the expedited timeline to reposition assets to multiple locations supported via the most efficient and effective means, while working within the suspense designated by the POTUS executive order,” Moulis said.

Despite the challenges, the teams still executed their missions ahead of schedule.

“From the time the assets arrived on ground, the team built the life support area in less than 30 days,” Gray said.

With the majority of the work almost complete, there is still plenty left to do.

“A new aircraft parking apron is currently in design for fixed wing assets,” Gray said. “A perimeter road is currently in development, and a water well is under contract that is expected to be complete in 45 days.”

The teams assigned to the 435th AEW successfully executed their short-notice order as one team enabling multi-theater sustainment and support while maintaining partner capacity.

“I am extremely proud of the effort and quality of work that our team has accomplished in such a short time,” Thomas said. “We have done more construction and renovation in two-and-a-half months than I have completed in my previous two deployments combined. We continue to improve conditions and infrastructure and have a goal of being in steady-state operations by the end of February.”

“Any adversary who wishes to challenge U.S. military power, our partners, or our allies should think twice after seeing what we did in such a short time,” Anderson said. “The U.S. is unmatched in our ability to project power, and we stand ready to do so anytime, anywhere.”

Despite the relocation, the 435th AEW will remain postured to support the mission in East Africa, working together with partners to advance mutual security interests, counter violent extremism and support partner nation missions.

Engage

Twitter
“As we continue to accelerate change, we have to think outside the box on how we train." - Capt. Dmytro Pichkur, 61… https://t.co/sLkVA5ctCP
Twitter
“In order to accelerate the change we need in the #AirForce, Team Edwards understands that no one can do this alone… https://t.co/OH0xBzS3YY
Twitter
The @AF_Academy is committed to developing leaders of character. Their graduates have always inspired others. Soon,… https://t.co/rjSmH70SN8
Twitter
RT @HQ_AFMC: #success! This is the 6th flight of the Valkyrie for @AFResearchLab & the first time the payload bay doors have been opened…
Twitter
Don't miss this event LIVE at 3 p.m.! https://t.co/CFkBHJMCsi
Twitter
.@TeamTyndall's SrA Can Liu deployed to support the #COVID19 vaccination efforts in New York. She is the only Airma… https://t.co/LIfeJ48lNL
Twitter
The newest aircraft in the #AirForce fleet has been christened the F-15EX Eagle II. The Eagle II includes the lates… https://t.co/4TIA52fk06
Twitter
Congratulations to the Royal Danish Air Force on the delivery of their first F-35 today! Our Danish friends have be… https://t.co/Gg4fduigTg
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Thank you to @Princeton for having me speak today with their University Lecture Series. I greatly appreciate the opportun…
Twitter
#DYK The #AirForce is the only military branch that has service-wide guidance on acquisition programs, defining cyb… https://t.co/UJZcxugySn
Twitter
RT @366FW: Air Force Chief of Staff @GenCQBrownJr shares some words of wisdom with our Gunfighters! Our Airmen continue to #acceleratecha
Twitter
April is recognized as the Month of the Military Child. The ever-changing military lifestyle impacts every member o… https://t.co/hmvocXQaGL
Twitter
Airmanship 200 is the second of three development courses that new #Airmen receive to better understand #AirForce v… https://t.co/1rueS9ToLP
Twitter
#ICYMI -- The Department of the Air Force published a website where #Airmen and @SpaceForceDoD #Guardians can acces… https://t.co/0YJcST5XaT
Twitter
Combating #COVID19 one shot at a time. https://t.co/EVyenHCi5D
Twitter
The Department of the Air Force-Massachusetts Institute of Technology Artificial Intelligence Accelerator is helpin… https://t.co/cfsdOX43hY
Twitter
.@LRAFB, Arkansas, Airmen completed 106 sorties, 254 flying hours, and nearly 2,000 training events during a multi-… https://t.co/3YOSh8DvcT
Twitter
Today is Gold Star Spouses Day. It honors the surviving loved ones of military service members killed in the line o… https://t.co/JYCacpkds5
Twitter
Everyone is susceptible to invisible wounds. These wounds have an impact can develop at any time, in any place, in… https://t.co/XxPKyovJc9
Twitter
#AirForce Civil Engineer Center Operation Directorate teams are following safety protocols and working closely with… https://t.co/4IjMrV240S
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,340,582
Follow Us