Andersen Airmen first to learn innovative airfield damage repair capability
ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- The 36th Civil Engineer Squadron was the first unit in the Air Force to receive training on a new airfield damage repair technique here Jan. 21 through Jan. 24.
The Air Force Civil Engineer Center at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., selected Andersen as the test base for the Airfield Damage Repair Capability program, in part, because of its key location in the Pacific. It also has a large enough flightline for the Airmen practice the new process without impacting daily missions.
"This is a significant step in base recovery that provides (more) capability in addition to traditional rapid runway repair," said Lt. Col. Christopher Carter, 36th CES commander. "The Civil Engineer Center taught our engineers critical skills that we can use (if) called upon to ensure the 36th Wing's mission is successful. We are excited to be a part of the training team and looks forward to working with AFCEC as we help pave the way for the future of ADR."
Under the new process, Airmen clear the debris from the surface of the flightline and then cut a square around the damaged area with specialized saw and the remaining concrete is removed. Then they fill the hole with a low-strength concrete, followed by a rapid-set concrete cap.
This process can be done quickly in combat situations so airfield operations can resume. The repair is also semi-permanent, so Airmen won't have to return later to perform further maintenance to the area. It is estimated that 3,000 aircraft of any size or weight can pass over the restored area without causing degradation to the runway.
The previous method for repairing the flightline, known as rapid runway repair, was introduced in the late 1950s and became more refined in the 1960s. The standard allowed engineers to repair three large craters formed from 750-pound bombs within four hours after damage was made.
"(Rapid runway repair) was a way that was in-grained in the Air Force for around 50 years," said Capt. Benjamin Carlson, Air Force Civil Engineer Center ADR officer in charge. "This is a new way of doing things that is more beneficial and cuts down on repair times."