NEWS | Nov. 3, 2017

51st Civil Engineer Squadron Trains for Rapid Airfield Damage Repair

By Staff Sgt. Franklin R. Ramos 51st Fighter Wing

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- The 51st Civil Engineer Squadron can now conduct Rapid Airfield Damage Repair if called upon after receiving new RADR training from the Air Force Civil Engineer Center, Oct. 30 – Nov. 3.

RADR is a new faster process developed by AFCEC in which CE units repair airfields that have been damaged with multiple holes after an attack.

“With today’s threats, [if an attack were to occur] we’re looking at hundreds of holes in the airfield instead of a couple holes, so we’re teaching them this quicker process with two different methods. An asphalt capping method and a rapid set concrete method,” said Michael Thomas, AFCEC contingency training program manager, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. “[With this new system] we’re able to give more airfield to a combatant commander quicker than we were before.”

The training taught members from various 51st CES shops how to operate specific equipment used to repair a runway such as compact track loaders, excavators and metric mixers.

“A lot of these people, especially the lower ranking Airmen, have never used equipment like this. They never had the opportunity,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Marshal McAlister, 51st CES pavements and equipment craftsman. “A lot of this is really new to some folks.”

“I think [the training] was pretty good. It taught us how to work as a whole,” said U.S. Air Force Airman Kevin Hill, 51st CES water and fuel systems apprentice. “I’m a plumber, and I’m [out here] doing “Dirt Boyz” stuff so that we can be really flexible within our squadron.”

RADR is similar to an assembly line process which allows for smoother and more efficient repairs.

“It’s an assembly line. We have our engineer assistants who do our marking and upheaval checks. The compact track loader saw cutters cut a square [around the damaged] pavement. Then an excavator operator hammers it until it breaks off,” said McAlister. “Another excavator removes the [broken] material [from the hole], and our loaders and compact track loaders clear the debris, making sure we have a good work area. We do it step by step to make sure all the craters are properly repaired.”

It’s important for members to understand their role to ensure mission success.

“I was part of the compact track loader crew using the saws,” said Hill. “My job specifically is very important because it lays down the foundation for everyone else. If I don’t cut, then people can’t dig up the debris, and if they don’t dig it up, then the planes can’t fly.”

RADR provides the 51st CES a new method to help Team Osan be “Ready to Fight Tonight!”