8th CES creates harmony during RADR training
KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea— -- U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 8th Civil Engineer Squadron participated in Rapid Airfield Damage Repair training at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, October 23 - 27, 2017.
The Air Force Civil Engineer Center developed the new RADR process to repair damaged airfields at a faster pace. The week-long, peninsula-wide training exercised Airmen’s ability to develop and integrate a plan, while simultaneously coordinating, and executing operations in the field.
“Civil Engineers essentially keep everything running whether that be a building, utility systems, electrical, water, fuel, HVAC there are a magnitude of important jobs, but if the base were to get attacked, our first priority is to fix the airfield,” said Capt. Austin McCall, 8th CES officer in charge. “To accomplish that we literally drop everything and pull almost the entire squadron to include non-civil engineer Airmen to augment because bottom line we have to get those planes back up and running and in a real-world situation this will be a 237-man operation.”
To complete the training, the 8th CES established various task oriented teams from different shops in the squadron. The first team begins marking the damaged area and clearing debris which would impede the repair. Following close behind, a second team would swiftly cut a square in the surface surrounding the damaged area with an excavator, removing remaining debris by hand and with heavy equipment until the area is within a pre-determined depth. Finally, a third team packs the opening with filler concrete and caps off the damaged area with rapid-set concrete to complete the job.
“This is our symphony,” said Lt. Col. Matthew Altman “Devil”, 8th CES commander. “Everything is planned down to 30-second increments. We have to have everyone working together in order for this to be successful.”
The symphony heralds a new composition for the 8th Fighter Wing as they have learned a fresh piece that completely reinvents their capabilities of runway repair.
“Our legacy system was designed to repair only a few largely damaged areas at a time with material that only supported the landing and launching of our light-weight fighter aircraft about 100 times before it had to be repaired again,” said McCall. “With this new concept, our goal is to repair up to 90 damaged areas within eight hours and the material we use can facilitate the landing of any aircraft and is good for more than 3,000 sorties.”
With the new training in hand, the Wolf Pack continues to stay mission ready and prepared to defend the base, accept follow-on forces and take the fight north.