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