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Al Udeid inner runway reopens, increases operational capabilities

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Stephanie Squires
  • 379th Air Expeditionary Wing

AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar -- After four months of construction, Al Udeid Air Base resumed full flight operations recently with the opening of the inner runway.

Reopening a runway is no simple task, as it requires meticulous planning, tireless effort, and an unwavering commitment to air superiority. Thanks to the joint effort between the Host Nation, the local Qatari contractors, the 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineering squadron, and the 379th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron, flights were able to resume Oct. 31, 2023, two weeks earlier than planned.

“Having that additional runway gives us the capacity to launch a higher volume of operational missions, using a wider range of aircraft types, in a shorter period of time,” said Lt. Col. Sean McConville, Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron Commander. “Over the last four months we strengthened the integrity of the runway and improved the aircraft arresting system.”

This reopening wasn't just about restoring the runway; it was about improving the 379 Air Expeditionary Wing’s ability to generate combat airpower.

“Al Udeid Air Base is the epicenter of U.S Central Command,” said Brig. Gen. Doug Jackson, 379th Air Expeditionary Wing Commander. “More specifically, our airfield is the conduit for power projection that enables strategic success. We’re excited to restore full operational capability to our airfield by completing this runway construction project ahead of schedule. Chief King and I are enormously proud of the fantastic Grand Slam Airmen who ensured this project was completed in both a safe and timely manner.”