Expeditionary Airmen collaborate to repair active runway, continue fight to defeat ISIL
By Senior Airman Tyler Woodward
380th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
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A maintenance crew removes excessive rubber buildup off of an active runway at an undisclosed in Southwest Asia, Dec. 15, 2016. Maintenance crews had roughly 5 minutes to evacuate the runways when aircraft were landing or departing. The strategic operation successfully enabled the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing to maintain its current level of support in Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Tyler Woodward)
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A KC-10 Extender launches from a runway at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, Dec. 15, 2016. Five minutes before this launch, maintenance crews fled the runway to a safe zone. Maintenance crews worked for 15 days removing excessive build up on the runway. The strategic operation successfully enabled the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing to maintain its current level of support in Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Tyler Woodward)
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Master Sgt. Christopher, 380th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron airfield manager, communicates with an air traffic control tower during a maintenance project on an airfield at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, Dec. 15, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Tyler Woodward)
SOUTHWEST ASIA, Dec. 21, 2016 —
Over the span of 15 days 380th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron members successfully coordinated the removal of accumulated rubber build-up off of 560,000 square feet of an active runway at an undisclosed location Dec. 19.
The standard process of rubber removal became logistically more complicated as various aircraft supporting Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve continued mission-essential operations in taking the fight to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
“This project was successful only because of extensive coordination,” said Senior Airman Jesse, 380th Expeditionary Contracting Squadron contracting officer. “It was very rewarding to work with such a great group of individuals, and I believe this project helped broaden everyone's perspective of what we can accomplish when we work together.”
Typically, a runway would be temporarily closed to let contractors complete the time-extensive process of rubber removal. During this project, however, rubber removal crews were given five minutes to safely evacuate the runway when an aircraft was either inbound or outbound.
“Attempting to keep operations going while at the same time [repairing a runway] makes life interesting on the runway,” said Master Sgt. Christopher, 380th EOSS airfield manager. “Without a good team this would have never happened.”
During the multi-faceted operation, several units took part in process including weather, air traffic control, civil engineering, contracting, force protection, security forces and command post.
Capt. Rodney, 380th EOSS flight commander, discussed the importance of team work during this operation.
“The most rewarding part of the project was seeing everyone working together to solve a difficult problem and ultimately enabling the delivery of decisive air power,” Rodney said.
Editor's note: The original story can be viewed on the U.S. Air Forces Central Command website.