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RADR ready

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Lauren M. Snyder
  • 332d Air Expeditionary Wing

The 332d Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron, responsible for base infrastructure, conducted a Rapid Airfield Damage Recovery (RADR) exercise here March 10, 2022.

This exercise tested the ability of the 332d ECES to rapidly repair runways and runway support structures to recover and resume airfield operations after it has experienced significant damage.

“The 332d Air Expeditionary Wing commander has spoken about flush and dispersal plans which is where we can send aircraft to other sites within the Central Command area of responsibility if given enough warning of an attack,” said Master Sgt. Wesley Ross, 332d ECES RADR Operations noncommissioned officer-in-charge. “RADR is what enables us to recover aircraft, recover the base, and re-launch aircraft to get the fighters up in the air to address whatever threat may be in the area.”

RADR allowed the 332d ECES to practice their real-world capabilities by involving multiple squadrons from around the base and nearly every specialty within the civil engineering field. From heavy equipment operators to electricians, climate control to plumbing, explosive ordinance destruction team to pest management; everyone contributes to the essential ability to get jets and heavy aircraft back on the runway. This process enables Airmen to get a damaged airfield back up and running in a matter of hours.

“RADR is more than the airfield,” Ross said. “It's a full-base recovery effort comprised of multiple skills throughout and fully encompassing civil engineering.”

Due to the wide range of threats, ranging from chemical and biological threats to explosives and inclement weather, Airmen must train regularly and be prepared to effectively respond and resume operations as soon as possible.

“Once EOD establishes the airfield minimum operating strip, we have our designated repair area,” said Ross. “This was the first time anyone from this rotation has worked together on RADR and they did really well; we repaired two craters for our exercise in three hours. Everyone was safe and took their time, and I was pleased with the quality of the repair especially since it was the first time. For the most part, everything went smoothly.”

Ross explained that the RADR exercise improves the wing’s ability to recover the airfield, validates emergency response actions, and demonstrates the versatility and competence of ECES as a whole.

“I understand heavy equipment capabilities, but I didn't realize the scope of the RADR exercise,” said Senior Airman Darren Hiatt, 332d ECES heavy equipment journeyman. “It surprised me a bit with how the different skills worked in tandem to contribute to this one exercise and capability. I didn't realize how much goes on behind the scenes with what I do and the exercise. Overall, it was a really good experience.”

As part of CENTCOM and Allied Forces Central Europe, the 332d Air Expeditionary Wing delivers airpower to provide deterrence and stability throughout the AOR.