The 435th CRS strengthens EUCOM capabilities
By Senior Airman Milton Hamilton, 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published January 10, 2020
JAN MAYEN AIRFIELD, Norway -- The 435th Contingency Response Squadron conducted an airfield assessment and survey of Jan Mayen Airfield, Norway, Nov. 17-24.
Strategically, Jan Mayen is located north of the Arctic Circle along sea-routes connecting Russia to the Atlantic Ocean.
While in Norway, the 435th CRS survey team assessed runway surfaces, glideslope obstructions and firing capes.
“The 435th CRS was there to conduct a landing zone survey and assessment so C-130J Super Hercules aircraft can land at the Jan Mayen airfield in order to provide transport and resupply to the station located there,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kyle Yeager, 435th CRS contingency response radio frequency transmissions supervisor.
This is the first time the 435th CRS survey team conducted an airfield assessment at this location.
Prior to this recent survey, U.S. aircraft could not land on the island
Accompanying the 435th CRS team were a few members of the 435th Security Forces Squadron.
“Our objective was to conduct a security assessment of the airfield to ensure that it met Air Force security requirements for C-130 operations,” said U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Ross Caldwell, 435th SFS Phoenix First In Security team member.
“Being a security forces squadron in the Contingency Response Group comes with a lot of responsibility,” said Caldwell. “We must be trained and certified on many different tasks to counter any threat and survive in any environment we are tasked to operate in. If the CRG goes, we go.”
Yeager said having an airfield in Norway allows training with allies in order for the U.S. Air Force to better integrate and work together with its partners.
“This training also gives us the opportunity to expand our skillsets by training in arctic environments, which allows us to identify potential challenges or shortfalls,” said Yeager.
As the U.S. Air Force continues to focus on readiness, financial support for missions like this is critical.
“Funding for these missions are important to the overall mission of the U.S. European Command,” said Yeager. “It allows us to remain agile and give us the ability to land our aircraft in those designated areas to provide critical training for aircrew, ground crew and other crucial support functions.”
The 435th CRS and SFS look forward to working with their Norwegian partners again and enjoyed being able to practice their skills in a new environment.