420th ABS supports Baltic Trident Exercise

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jennifer Zima
  • 501st Combat Support Wing Public Affairs

The 420th Air Base Squadron and 420th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron at RAF Fairford are providing support to Exercise Baltic Trident, which is taking place at RAF Fairford and across several Baltic countries from March 15-19.

The primary goal of the exercise is to strengthen the Agile Combat Employment (ACE) concept. ACE enables U.S. forces in Europe to operate from locations with varying levels of capacity and support, ensuring Airmen and aircrews are postured to deliver lethal combat power across the full spectrum of military operations.

“Our role here at RAF Fairford is going to be receiving several KC-135 tanker aircraft from RAF Mildenhall,” said Master Sgt. Richard Trost, 420th ABS superintendent and logistics planner. “We bed those individuals down here, get them set up so they can operate and do their mission. They tell us what their game plan is and what their daily mission support needs are. Some of their needs might include fuel support, transient alert support, lodging, feeding operations, or anything that it takes to sustain a force in any deployed environment. It’s important to show that the Air Force is capable to bed down forces at a moment’s notice anywhere in the world. The ACE concept really highlights that. We’re showing that flexibility when we do exercises like this.”

Approximately 150 active duty personnel, civilians and local nationals are supporting this exercise at RAF Fairford. 420th EABS Airmen are deployed from around the world. They have all joined together to support the 100th Air Refueling Wing during this exercise.

“We’re trying to operate in a forward location to make our movements more unpredictable for any adversary,” said Capt. Leo Ricciotti, 100th Operations Group chief pilot. “This exercise has all our aircraft scattered all across Europe. We have a couple in the Baltics and we have some here. It’s cool to be part of something new and on the leading edge of combat employment.”

“The ability to deploy anywhere in the world, execute a mission and work with our allied partners and other Air Force units across the world is an amazing thing,” said Capt. Jody Hasebe, 420th ABS operations officer and installation reception officer. “The ability to just pick up and go is really great. Our primary focus at Fairford is to be a forward-operating location. Fairford is typically a bomber-forwarding location, but we do receptions.”

Exercises and deployments that utilize ACE concepts ensure forces in Europe are ready to protect and defend partners, allies and U.S. interests at a moment’s notice, and generate lethal combat power should deterrence fail.