Poland Hosts First Deployable Air Base System Exercise

August 08, 2018

Members of the U.S. Air Force, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve and Army participated in the first Deployable Air Base System proof of concept exercise at the 31st Tactical Air Base here July 16-Aug. 13.

The joint team tested their ability to quickly process, deploy and set up facilities, equipment and vehicles in a location where little or no infrastructure exists.

Rapid, Flexible Response

“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 Air Force Capt. Alex John, logistics readiness officer for U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa.

There are currently no DABS kits in the 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. 

“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 Air Force Brig. Gen. Roy Agustin, director of logistics, engineering and force protection for USAFE-AFAFRICA.

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-AFAFRICA operations, actions, and activities.

“Deployable Air Base Systems enhance prepositioned 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,” Agustin said. “You cut on time [getting combat ready regarding] 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.

Active duty units based in Germany and Italy and National Guard units from Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Virginia participated in the DABS proof of concept exercise.