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Marauders RADR exercise

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Kenneth Boyton
  • 386th Air Expeditionary Wing

The explosive ordnance disposal team reported that the area was safe. Having confirmed that the runway was hit multiple times, the 386th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron sent out Airmen to assess and repair the damage. Multiple craters were found, but the damage was enough to render the long slab of concrete useless, halting the mission of the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing at Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait.

This was the simulated precursor to the Rapid Airfield Damage Recovery training exercise held on ASAB, Nov. 16, 2020.

The intent of RADR training is for Airmen from different ECES shops to work together simultaneously to expeditiously repair a damaged runway.

“Our EOD team came out and set charges to create the craters,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Jeffrey Brown, 386th ECES heavy repair superintendent. “They really enhanced the exercise, and gave our Airmen the opportunity to showcase their capabilities.”

The craters were made on the RADR training site, a large concrete area which simulates a runway and adds to the realism of the exercise.

“Most of these Airmen received the training about a month ago, so the concept is fairly new to them,” Brown said. “But they have the knowledge from their jobs and they know they aren’t alone in this. They ask questions, they help each other out, they do whatever they need to get the job done, and they do it all very well.”

The Airmen started by using compact track loaders to clear debris from the area. A team followed and marked the areas which needed to be repaired.

After cutting out the marked sections and breaking up the remaining concrete, the sections were cleared out, filled up, and covered with rapid set concrete. Because of the material, equipment and techniques used, the repairs are stronger and more durable than the older airfield repair process, allowing for thousands more aircraft passes than before.

Senior Airman Jerre Myrick, 386th ECES pavements and construction technician, said he enjoyed the training.

“Today was a ‘how everything works’ day, since it was most of the Airmen’s first time operating this equipment,” Myrick said. “It went very well and we learned a lot. If there’s ever an emergency, we’re ready for it.”

The team was able to repair the craters in just a few hours, even with the learning curve and unfamiliarity with the equipment.

“The team put on a great show,” Brown said. “Watching them work, it looks like they’ve done it all before. I have no doubt they could quickly and expertly repair any runway damage in a really short amount of time. Our people are that good and I’m proud of them.”

The exercise ended with a successfully repaired runway, which restored the mission and provided the team with new knowledge and experiences.