Ready Tiger 24-1: Airmen demonstrate the importance of BOS-I

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Rachel Coates

In the intricacies of military operations, collaborative efforts behind the scenes are essential to ensuring success. Among strategic planning and tactical maneuvers, the Base Operating Support-Integrator (BOS-I) emerges as a crucial player, facilitating frontline warriors' readiness and empowerment for mission fulfillment.

During exercise Ready Tiger 24-1, BOS-I demonstrated operational readiness for the forward operating sites (FOS) at Avon Park Air Force Range, Florida, and Savannah, Georgia, as well as two contingency locations.

“We’ve built up a base here to generate combat airpower,” said Maj. Maureen Medina, Air Base Squadron commander for FOS Avon. “I emphasized to the Airmen that they are key to that mission’s success – establish the base, fortify it, and when we’re under attack, execute survival plans, reconstitute, and then continue executing the mission.”

To generate combat airpower, support from every Airman is required. BOS-I serves as its launchpad, much like a mission support group, procuring essential materials to aid Airmen in achieving objectives and meeting the combatant commander’s requirements.

“There’s an immense amount of support that goes into running a fully functioning base, but what we are being called to do demands for more versatility and adaptability, and it’s especially challenging when we’re trying to do that with a much smaller footprint,” Medina said. “However, our team is dedicated to the mission, and when the mission calls for a solution, the Airmen are rapidly adapting to execute Agile Combat Employment.”

Regardless of the size of military presence, many support functions are necessary for an expeditionary air base’s operation. Some of these functions include providing meals, base security, medical treatment, and logistical resupply.

“We created a threat working group to bounce ideas off each other to best suit the needs of the base,” Medina said. “When it came to base defense, we augmented personnel from other Air Force specialties to provide security for the airfield and our assets. I know nothing about those things, but by relying on our subject matter experts, we’re able to make logistical sense on how we can survive.”

Medina believes that adapting to roles beyond primary responsibilities is critical for mission success, aligning with the U.S. Air Force's initiative of Agile Combat Employment.

“We can’t stay the same,” she added. “It reminds me of the brick-and-mortar stores that refused to change because they’ve ‘always done it this way,’ and they were successful so they never changed their mindset. But then suddenly, you have Amazon coming in with a different type of mindset and now those stores are outpaced. I have to do my part, as a leader, to make that change as well.”

BOS-I plays a role in this change, as it is the cornerstone of any deployed or forward-deployed location. An example of one of its components, supporting all specialties across an expeditionary air base, is the contracting team.

“Our job is to help each other Air Force specialty fulfill their mission if they can't organically do it themselves,” said Senior Airman Noah Horn, 23rd Contracting Squadron contractor. “Here at Avon, we secured the shower and laundry trailers from a private company to make sure those facilities were accessible for the Airmen.”

Contracting also played a pivotal role in obtaining essential base security and infrastructure resources such as sandbags, fortifying the single-pallet expeditionary kitchen and 23rd Security Forces’ defense fighting positions surrounding the airfield.

“As long as the subject matter experts let us know what they need, we are there for them to help,” Horn said. “The quality of life for Airmen is important because if personnel aren’t happy and taken care of, then work ethic will fall. We do everything we can to make it better.”

While BOS-I is a fraction of what goes into operating an expeditionary airfield, the Airmen involved in the exercise make every move count.

“The team here has been amazing,” Medina said. “I challenge every Airmen to step up and continue taking on responsibilities that they’re not used to. As an integrated team, we will only improve in our capability to rapidly employ Agile Combat Employment.”