MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
Airmen from the 823d Base Defense Squadron conducted static line jumps from an HC-130J Combat King II in preparation for an upcoming mission readiness exercise, July 21, at the Lee Fulp drop zone in Tifton, Ga.
The Airmen who jumped are part of an airborne advanced team, with the mission to clear a path for follow-on forces to arrive on scene to defend assets anywhere in the world.
“We belong to a global response force, or GRF tasking,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. David Brown, 823d BDS operations superintendent. “We’re a toolkit to war planners at the Pentagon to quickly react within 96 hours to any threat to U.S. and Air Force resources around the globe. To prep for that, one of our delivery methods could be to airborne insert.”
The airborne advanced team is a small security element consisting mostly of security forces members, but also Airmen with other specialties like intelligence, communications and medics.
“We have 12 Air Force Specialty Codes, or career fields, and most of them have an airborne advanced team capability, so we’ll have one of each type to be able to come out there based on what our needs are for that particular mission,” said Brown.
Once the team landed, they assembled to secure a perimeter and began acquiring a secure communication network that enemies couldn’t intercept. A follow-up jump is scheduled to be conducted under the cover of darkness to further orient airborne advanced teams.
“We [practiced,] in the middle of a field, but we would never do that [real-world,]” said Brown. “That’s so we can evaluate and they can understand what their roles are. The next night jump, they’ll be in the wood line using the features of the terrain to help conceal and defend themselves.”
Whether night or day, airborne advance teams are an important addition to the array of tools the 820th Base Defense Group brings to the fight.
“It helps maintain a diverse fighting force,” said Airman Tanner Daniels, 822d fire team member. “We can’t be single-minded in how we conduct business, so these airborne teams allow us to come into areas quicker than ground forces. It’s a necessary asset.”