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Who's the BOS-I? Base Operating Support Integrator and Senior Airfield Authority at Deployed Bases

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Research rept.

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The current method of providing base operating support at deployed airbases is anything but a joint operation. Rather than providing support jointly or having joint interdependence, the Army and Air Force practice de-confliction and prefer that the two Services simply stay out of each others way. Based on vague CENTCOM guidance for Base Operating Support Integrator BOS-I and Senior Airfield Authority SAA responsibilities, the airfield becomes a base within a base run by the Air Force while the Army runs the rest of the installation. The problem is that the inherent requirements of running a military airfield in a combat zone do not allow for this disjointed support structure. All aspects of airfield operations cannot be neatly constrained within the confines of the airfield fence thus creating friction between the two Services. Further complicating support operations is the fact that the Army does not have organic military forces trained and organized to develop, operate, and maintain bases, especially bases with airfields with major fixed-wing operations. This research paper argues that the BOS-I and SAA responsibilities should be executed by a single organization at deployed airbases in order to provide more effective and efficient installation and airfield support to the joint warfighter. Furthermore, the Air Force is better organized and trained than the Army to provide these functions at deployed airbases. The paper first examines CENTCOM guidance on BOS-I and SAA. How the Services are organized to provide both home station and deployed installation support as well as how their engineering forces are trained in these roles is discussed. Some of the problems with how BOS-I and SAA are being provided in the AOR are also examined using Joint Base Balad, Iraq as a case study. The paper concludes with recommendations on how to provide better BOS-I and SAa support in the future.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Aircraft Operations
  • Terminal Flight Facilities

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