Military News

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

BOS-I makes 74th EFS mission possible

by Andrea Jenkins
23d Wing Public Affairs


11/16/2015 - Amari Air Base, Estonia  -- From the combat-communications technicians who keep the communication lines open to the Security Forces Airmen who stand guard at the edge of the flight line --much of the work they do is behind the scenes.

Known to everyone as BOS-I -- fifty-three Airmen from 18 different Air Force specialty codes make up the Base Operations Support-integrating and their functions are essential to the 74th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron's mission.

"Every detail of the mission accomplished every day is made possible by our BOS-I team," said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Bryan France, 74th EFS commander. "From infrastructure to logistics to force protection, our mission moves forward daily because of them. It's difficult not to over-simplify the intricate detail in which they are involved."

The BOS-I team is made up of Airmen whose functions would normally fall under the umbrella of a mission support group at their home station.

"BOS-I is essentially a deployed version of the mission support group," said U.S. Air Force Capt. David Martin, BOS-I officer-in-charge. "It includes Airmen from squadrons like security forces, combat communications, force support, logistics readiness, contracting and civil engineering. Every element is needed to make the base operate, keep the mission functioning and make the expeditionary mission happen."

"We're responsible for everything from refueling the jets, to guarding them, to securing lodging for the pilots and Airmen who fly and maintain those aircraft," added Martin, a logistics readiness officer deployed from RAF Lakenheath, UK. "I would say we are the lifeblood that supports the ability for maintainers and operators to function out here. Everything that is not directly fixing the aircraft or flying the aircraft--it's us. And I think that's pretty cool."

The 74th EFS is deployed as part of a theater security package in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve and since arriving in Estonia, the BOS-I team have organized and arranged movement of over 112 tons of cargo and 240 pilots and maintenance Airmen to three separate locations throughout Europe.

The support personnel needed to execute the BOS-I mission were sourced from a pool of USAFE Airmen stationed at five different bases around Europe.

"We put a lot of responsibility on each individual in BOS-I," said Martin. "Some of these career fields are one deep so they are responsible for everything that has to do with that function. For example, the CE individual who was here by himself for the first few weeks built a wall while he worked on surveys and figuring out the fire department and EOD needs. So each individual within our team has a lot of pressure on them to be the experts in their field."

The players of the BOS-I team cannot take all the credit for their success as the team chief recognizes some of the work wouldn't be possible without their Estonian counterparts.

"We work very closely with the Estonians and they are an absolutely fundamental part of what we do here," said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Denise Beirman, BOS-I team chief. "Each one of our BOS-I offices has an Estonian contact that we meet with almost daily. They are an integral part to our mission and we have not run into one issue that they haven't worked hand-in-hand with us to make a success. They have been phenomenal in helping us make this mission happen."

Everyone on the team agrees that teamwork is essential to the mission and working with the Estonians is only adding to the legacy of the Flying Tigers.

"Being a part of a unit that has such a rich history like the 74th EFS and knowing that we are enabling that unit to continue being an important assurance for our NATO allies is rewarding," said Martin. "It's just great to be here working alongside the Estonians making sure we support them the best way we can while continuing the legacy of the world famous Flying Tigers."

Although the BOS-I Airmen make up less than 15 percent of the 74th EFS team, the commander welcomes them to the team and recognizes they are vital to mission success.

"We couldn't have this deployed theater security package operation without the experts of our BOS-I team," said France. "These Airmen are the nervous system of our expeditionary fighter squadron and I am honored to have them on the Flying Tiger team."

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