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Operations support squadron crucial to Afghanistan’s busiest airfields

The 455th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron provides support for combat operations in several locations around Afghanistan on Mar. 13, 2019. This multi-faceted squadron works hard to remind each member how their part of the mission helps the overall effort.

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan --

Every 455th Air Expeditionary Wing Airman contributes to the wing’s mission to defend Afghanistan’s busiest airfields, support counterterrorism operations and partners, and deliver decisive airpower throughout the region. Though not directly dropping bombs on targets or transporting troops across Afghanistan, one squadron in particular touches every aspect of aerial operations at Afghanistan’s largest and most demanding airfields. 

The 455th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron often works behind the scenes to provide essential support for combat operations at Bagram, Jalalabad and Kandahar Airfields, Afghanistan.

The 455th EOSS comprises five flights: intelligence, weapons and tactics, current operations, weather and airfield operations. The squadron also has an aircrew flight equipment representative who provides flight gear quality assurance support for flying squadrons.

The intelligence flight provides analysis and production for commanders and their staff to help them make timely decisions, while the weapons and tactics flight advises the operational squadrons at Bagram.

The current operations flight provides an outlook on any missions 455th assets are involved in, and the weather flight provides critical forecasts for Bagram and other operating areas. The airfield operations flight provides air traffic control, airfield management, airfield operations and support for the air traffic control and landing systems.

“We support anyone that needs it,” said Lt. Col. Kristin Wehle, 455th EOSS commander. “We rely on our experts to do their jobs, and they do it so well and provide professional expertise to our mission partners.”

The 455th EOSS owns senior airfield authority at Bagram and Jalalabad Airfields, managing and executing daily operations for everything within the airfield.

“Jalalabad is an extremely strategic position for the NATO Resolute Support mission,” said Capt. Joshua Dietrich, 455th Airfield Operations Flight commander. “The strategic placement of that airfield is important because the operations conducted out of there have enormous implications on the mission in the area.”

The 455th EOSS presence at Jalalabad is small but mighty, Wehle said. The wing has three positions at Jalalabad: senior airfield authority, safety representative, and civil engineer representative who are in charge of managing all of the daily operations and complex requirements of the users they support.

“No matter what the task is, our Airmen provide whatever support they can,” Wehle said. “The fact is that every single Airman we have is passionate about supporting the overall mission in Afghanistan, and it shows through their work ethic.”

The 455th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron is responsible for supporting air combat operations at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.
SLIDESHOW | 4 images | Operations support squadron crucial to Afghanistan’s busiest airfields The 455th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron is responsible for supporting air combat operations at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. The 455th EOSS comprises five flights: intelligence, weapons and tactics, current operations, weather and airfield operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rito Smith)