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379th ECES exhibits Rapid Airfield Damage Repair skills in critical readiness exercise

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Derrick Bole
  • 379th Air Expeditionary Wing

The 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron participated in a Rapid Airfield Damage Repair exercise at an undisclosed location within the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, June 12, 2024.

 

An attack on the installation could spell disaster for the aircraft on any installation, rendering portions of the airfield inoperable.

 

"One of the primary core responsibilities of Air Force engineers is to make sure we can rapidly recover the airfield and the installation from attack," said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Douglas Kelley, 379 ECES commander. "Exercises like the RADR ensure that we are able to do that in a timely manner so that our base can return to executing the mission."

 

Every rotation performs the RADR exercise to improve Airmen's readiness if an attack on the installation occurs. To begin the exercise, the 379th ECES deployed a convoy of pavement and construction vehicles to a simulated airfield where craters had already been created.

 

"Every career field in CE was a part of this," said the 379 ECES pavement and construction equipment exercise team lead. "From our explosive ordnance disposal specialists performing unexploded ordnance sweeps to our engineers performing in the exercise, everyone had a role to play in the restoration."

 

Pavement cutters transformed the craters into rectangular holes wide enough for other vehicles to operate. Large excavators, bulldozers, and other heavy machinery then removed the large pieces of concrete and rubble. Once the larger debris was cleared, Airmen used shovels, pickaxes, and other handheld tools to create clear and level holes for the cement mix.

 

Pouring the cement mix completely level is crucial to maintaining airfield integrity. Any variation in height could spell disaster for taxiing, arriving, or departing aircraft.

 

"At the end of the day, it's all about our Airmen engineers," said Kelley. "We can have the best equipment in the world, but if we don't have our exceptional engineers who are trained and ready to use it, it wouldn't matter."

 

The exercise not only highlighted the technical skills and preparedness of the 379th ECES Airmen but also demonstrated their ability to maintain an active posture even after an attack on the installation.

An Airman assigned to the 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron adds water to a concrete mix during a Rapid Airfield Damage Repair exercise at an undisclosed location within the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, June 12, 2024. Civil engineers conduct RADR exercises in preparation for real-world damage repairs on the flight line in the event of an attack. (U.S. Air Force photo)