509th Bomb Wing's Prime BEEF

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Nash Truitt
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

Some people argue whether it is better to eat prime beef rare or well done. However, the U.S. Air Force thinks it is best served as the Base Engineer Emergency Force, or as it is more frequently known Prime BEEF.

Prime BEEF is a specialized unit within certain Air Force Civil Engineering squadrons comprised of skilled construction technicians, earth movers, electricians, plumbers, firefighters, and explosive ordnance disposal Airmen. These units across the Air Force stand by to respond to and support contingency operations when needed.

The 509th Civil Engineering Squadron Prime BEEF section maintains readiness by training, certifying, and tracking its members, ensuring they are rapidly deployable and able to support relief efforts for man-made or natural disasters.

Matthew Damaso, 509th CES unit deployment manager, said Prime BEEF’s monthly training is contingency based. It includes vehicle training, land navigation, tactical movements, and other deployment-related training.

The Airmen attached to Prime BEEF must be knowledgeable with deployment skills and able to employ them anywhere in order to complete the tasks expected of them.

Prime BEEF teams frequently deploy to a location after another civil engineering team has already built up a bare base, a base with the minimum essential facilities to house, sustain, and support operations.

“Prime BEEF is your sustainment side of a base,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Matthew Fenton, 509th CES prime BEEF manager. “After the bare base is built, our guys are out there. They are building defensive fighting positions with the Army side-by-side with our own security forces.”

Prime BEEF units “BEEF” up bare bases by building additional infrastructure to support contingency operations more effectively.

“Once everything is said and done, the Airmen function as any other CE unit would,” said Fenton. “You have your electricians, plumbers, firefighters and everything in between. Without that presence, the base would just not be able to function at its highest ability.”

The 509th Prime BEEF Airmen affect more than just deployed locations.

Damaso said some of Prime BEEF’s most important missions stateside are the bomber strategic aircraft recovery teams and bomber task forces.

“If they send out those types of teams, there is a select number of members who must go,” he said. “That way they are able to build something up in a moment’s notice.”

That could mean getting a new base up and running quickly so that the Air Force can continue its mission if another main operating base were to be lost. Prime BEEF units might also repair infrastructure at deployed locations or assist with setting up emergency relief areas if an aircraft crashes.

When Prime BEEF Airmen take the words “from the ground up” to heart, they allow the Air Force to execute crucial and hazardous missions in austere environments. This enables the B-2 Spirit to perform nuclear operations and global strike, anytime, anywhere.