Wolf Pack makes use of airfield closure
KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea - The airfield on Kunsan Air Base is closed for two weeks starting Sept. 13 for repairs, maintenance and upgrades essential to the Wolf Pack's flying mission.
"This project has been in the works for about a year now," said Tech. Sgt. Lisa Ramirez, 8th Operations Support Squadron deputy airfield manager.
While flying may be paused during the construction, units such as Airfield Management and Air Traffic Control will still continue their 24-hour missions and direct their focus to helping the more than 50 South Korean contractors and dozens of Airmen from the 8th Civil Engineer Squadron work on the airfield.
"What we're doing in our facility on 24-hour operations is making sure everyone is in compliance, such as driving where they are suppose to. We will provide training to all the contractors before repairs begin," said Ramirez.
Many units on base will be taking advantage of the no-flying period, with several including security forces conducting training around parts of the airfield.
With the funds for the airfield renovation already set, the Wolf Pack is expected to save money once repairs are complete.
Most notable will be repairs to the more than 270 spalls on the runway, which can cause significant tire damage to an F-16 Fighting Falcon.
"The spalls on the runway were a major factor in the decision to make the repairs, because it was causing the tires on the F-16 to wear out faster," said Tech. Sgt. Caleshia Walker, NCO in charge of Airfield Management.
As common as cracks on an asphalt road, which can cause wear and tear on any vehicle, spalls occur from chips in concrete as a result of high traffic and movement, which presents issues for both airfields and highways across the world.
"Crews were replacing tires on a weekly basis to every few days," said Walker.
With the repairs, the savings to the Air Force and the Wolf Pack will be significant, as a single tire for an F-16 can cost $700 to $1,100.
Once all construction is complete, the 8th Fighter Wing will conduct a wing-wide "FOD walk" across the runway before the airfield is re-opened for flying.
The walk will ensure the flight line is clear of any foreign objects, which may present a risk for take-offs and landings.
The airfield is scheduled to re-open Sept. 27.