Air Force Engineers Repair Runway in Iraq

During the planning process, the airmen were trained to operate the newly fielded Rapid Airfield Damage Repair System and Super Kit to complete the mission. The kit consists of a comprehensive set of the equipment necessary to quickly repair a damaged air strip.

“The project was practiced and perfected in training, so when boots hit the dusty ground the mission would be in full swing,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Tyler Charles, one of the engineers on the team.

“We show up, clear the debris out, get all the junk and everything out of there,” Charles said. “Then we dig down, if we have to, until we hit hard surface ground.”

The engineers had to systematically identify damaged areas of the airfield, cut those pieces of concrete out, and then start from scratch from the bare ground up.

After that, there is earth tamping and concrete filling and curing -- a process that takes about a day to complete.

Virginia Air National Guard Master Sgt. Reid Burns, the lead noncommissioned officer of the team, realizes that his job is vital to the Iraqi forces on the front lines who need supplies to continue their push toward Mosul.

“Moving up here and opening up this airfield will support the warfighter -- get more beans and bullets on the ground; help the Iraqi army to bring the fight to ISIL.”

A project this large takes a team to complete. The total force concept is played out on the project, bringing together qualified airmen from the Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve and active-duty Air Force.

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