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RADR Exercise ensures fastest route to aircraft in sky

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Ashley Mikaio, 386th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs Office

Airmen from the 386th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron trained to refine their skills during a rapid airfield damage recovery or RADR exercise at Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait, October 7, 2022.

During the exercise, 386 ECES Airmen from multiple duties performed outside of their bubble to rapidly repair an airfield and resume operations after it has experienced significant damage.

“This is how we as civil engineers go out and recover an airfield after an attack,” said Capt. Gemma Fiduk, 386th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron operations flight commander. “Getting planes in the air is going to be paramount and civil engineers have a big piece in that.”

In the event that an airfield is damaged, the Air Force will now be able to harness more Airmen to accomplish the task with speed. Exercises such as these demonstrate the concept of multi-capable Airmen or MCA.

“The goal of this exercise is to make sure that all of our Airmen are prepared for the possibility that they might be called upon to go out there and operate equipment they haven’t used very often,” said Fiduk. “We specifically chose Airmen who don’t have a lot of experience with this type of exercise.”

When a larger majority of people have an idea of how to help repair a runway, the likelihood of success increases exponentially. The 386 ECES leadership wants to be able to utilize as many Airmen as possible in an emergency situation.

“The most important thing after an attack is to recover the airfield. I have maybe 30 heavy equipment operators but a flight of more than 100 people. Being able to leverage a greater percentage of my flight to go recover after an attack is extremely invaluable,” continued Fiduk. “I wouldn’t have to rely on 30 heavy equipment operators, I could have 100 of my folks out there getting the job done.”

On the training pad, engines roar as heavy equipment crumbles and pushes concrete. ECES Airmen with dust covered faces trained hard to execute the RADR proficiently so when the time comes, they won’t miss a beat getting into the fight.

“The whole concept of RADR training is to respond to the actual threats that we will be facing and to do it more quickly and more efficiently to get the aircraft in the sky.”

The 386th Air Expeditionary Wing continues to lead the way in increasing agile combat employment through MCA.