Wolves prep for flexible landings
KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Airmen at Kunsan Air Base tested their combat readiness by prepping a taxiway as an alternative landing surface for use by the 8th Fighter Wing Mar. 19, 2014.
This is the first time in more than four years the alternate landing surface has been useable for aircraft landings.
"For almost a year we have attempted to use the alternate landing surface as a recovery airstrip," said Col. S. Clinton Hinote, 8th FW commander. "We want to gain the flexibility we need to recover aircraft if the primary runway was unusable."
Multiple agencies across base worked together to prep Taxiway Charlie, Kunsan's original landing strip, to support its newest mission.
Airmen from the 8th Civil Engineer Squadron graded the area, swept loose debris and repaired deficiencies on the concrete landing surface.
"We used about 140 man-hours over a two day period," said Master Sgt. Jason Lilley, 8th CES horizontal repair section chief. "We also completed six emergency concrete repairs and provided airfield sweeper support until the aircraft activating the landing strip arrived."
During the repairs, two 25-foot airfield damage repair practice craters were filled and more than 600 tons of debris hauled away.
The activation of Taxiway Charlie also created a need for runway security.
"We partnered with airfield management to develop entry control points to secure the landing surface once active," said Senior Master Sgt. James Mogren, 8th Security Forces Squadron logistics superintendent. "We also established a photo log to allow reference points for Airmen thus maximizing our response time to open the ALS and giving our Airmen all the information they need to do their job."
Leadership from the 8th FW expressed their admiration while watching the team of more than 50 Wolf Pack Airmen in action.
"We've tried hard to focus on getting better and better at our combat mission," said Hinote. "This is just another way our team has come together to preserve the past and protect the capability for the future in case we do have to fight tonight."
Activating the ALS was another way the Wolf Pack's ability to support any contingency operation was tested and approved; furthering the guarantee the Wolf Pack is always ready, day or night.