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386th ECES lay foundation for Agile Combat Employment capabilities

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Dalton Williams, 386th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs Office

Airmen from the 386th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron successfully tested their ability to make significant repairs to a flightline in a short amount of time with a minimal crew at an undisclosed location, August 5, 2022.

The capability to quickly repair a flightline so that air operations can take place anywhere in the world and leave as soon as possible can be considered the backbone of Agile Combat Employment, or ACE.

“This repair is important for deterring our adversaries by showing that we can repair any runway in the world in a short amount of time and do what needs to be done to ensure aircraft are able to fly 24/7,” said 2nd Lt. Richard Haywood, 386th ECES operations engineering chief.

Thanks to their hard work throughout the night in the scorching heat, the Airmen were able to pour all of their training, sweat and elbow grease into demolishing two upheavals on the flightline. Like running over a speed bump at 180 miles per hour, these elevated positions on the runway had the potential to catastrophically damage an aircraft.

Employing Rapid Airfield Damage Repair, or RADR, is a process that essentially allows the team to bandage the flightline after an attack no matter what happens to it, as efficiently and effectively as possible.

“How the RADR process works is first we need to cut that section for repairs out, clean it out, and then pour concrete in,” said Master Sgt. Derek Phillips, 386th ECES pavements and equipment NCOIC. “Once that’s put in and finished off, you’re good to go. The key to this success is a lot of teamwork and everyone moving when they need to move.”

Successfully demonstrating the capability without a hitch, coalition partners and future operations are able to use this runway with mitigated risk.

Being a part of history as CE is illustrating how the concept of ACE is alive, well and actually occurring, is not something lost on even the most junior of members.

“This project we're doing out here has easily been the highlight of my deployment,” said Airman 1st Class Bryce Tharman, 386th ECES pavements and equipment operator. “It's been a blast getting to come out here with the great leadership and the great people and working together to get the task done in a timely manner.”