If the U.S. Air Force finds itself in a conflict with Russia, it won’t be able to simply rely on its major operating hubs in Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom. So it’s getting more expeditionary thanks to a new “air base in a box” that will enable the service to rapidly move to a partner nation’s airfield, set up a squadron and begin flying combat missions.
Defense News traveled to Poland’s 31st Air Base near Krzesiny this July for an exclusive look at the first-ever trial of the U.S. Air Force’s new deployable air base system, or DABS — a series of humble-looking shipping containers filled with everything needed to stand up air operations, including temporary billeting and mess facilities, vehicles, airfield repair resources, and power and electrical equipment.
"When we deploy forward, we have very generous hosts, but in a crisis, they’re going to need their capabilities for their priorities, their mission sets, and we’re going to fight jointly and operate jointly,” said Brig. Gen. Roy Agustin, U.S. Air Forces Europe’s director of logistics, engineering and force protection.