HomeNewsArticle Display

Offutt AFB runway closure delayed to maximize construction ahead of winter months

Rivet Joint RC-135V/W

The RC-135V/W Rivet Joint reconnaissance aircraft is the workhorse of the 55th Wing at Offutt AFB, Neb. The aircraft is used to support theater and national level consumers with near real time on-scene intelligence collection, analysis and dissemination capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Josh Plueger)

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. (AFNS) --

The 55th Wing’s runway replacement at Offutt Air Force Base has been pushed back from December 2019 to October 2020.

The ten-month delay of the runway closure allows for demolition and earthwork to begin before winter. This sets up the program to be in the asphalt and concrete work phase by spring 2021 and wrapping up the needed inspections and Federal Aviation Administration approval to reopen in the twelfth month of work.

Sections of Offutt AFB’s current runway are more than 70 years old. Regular maintenance is required to sustain safe flight conditions. The replacement, which is projected to cost approximately $176 million between Offutt AFB and Lincoln Airport (LNK), sets up the 55th Wing’s global intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission to continue from Offutt AFB for at least 20 years before any major maintenance is required.

“It is definitely needed. (The 55th Civil Engineer Squadron) is pouring man-hours and resources into our current runway just to keep it functioning,” said Rob Hufford, 55th CES civil engineer and 55th Wing Project Management Office engineering lead. “As it ages we have to put more time and money into it, but we still have the same amount of people and the same amount of money."

The finished product is planned to be built narrower but with the same length. Features of the new runway design include concrete landing zones with an asphalt center and shoulders.

“The design we are going with is the model bases are going to across the Air Force where we can,” Hufford said. “It’s faster to construct and it's, in theory, easier to maintain. We can go through and do asphalt repairs in a couple hours, and it's good to go. Whereas with concrete, you need a couple of days.”

During the replacement, the wing plans to move flight operations to LNK which is just under 50 miles away.

“One of our driving factors is to protect the Airmen here at Offutt AFB, from being gone longer than 12 months,” Hufford said. “We know it's going to stink to have to go back and forth from Lincoln on a daily basis, so that's why we are trying to limit how long that displacement occurs.”

Commuting to and operating from LNK’s west ramp is estimated to last for approximately 12 months. Nearly 800 personnel are expected to be bused between Offutt AFB and LNK daily until construction is completed in October of 2021.

“The 55th Maintenance Group’s main concerns revolve around the support for our people while deployed to Lincoln,” said Capt. Scott Yancey, 83rd Aircraft Maintenance Unit officer in charge. “We will be working extra-long shifts, four days per week, with three day breaks. Our highly trained Airmen are critical to keeping the maintenance machine moving which is why taking care of our people is our highest priority.”

Preparations are being made at the west ramp at LNK to meet the demands of the Offutt AFB’s aircraft. The apron is being reconditioned, a temporary hangar is being erected and renovations are being made to an existing hangar and firehouse.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @OHNationalGuard: The @180thFW hosted members of the Nigerian Air Force recently Officers visited the 180FW in search of #bestpractice
RT @HiAirGuard: Airmen from 154th Security Forces Squadron became first responders during a Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear…
RT @US_SOCEUR: U.S. #airmen assigned to the 352d Special Operations Wing perform maintenance on a CV-22B #Osprey aircraft in Szolnok, #Hung
RT @HQ_AFMC: The @AFResearchLab s X-60A program achieved a key developmental #milestone with the completion of integrated vehicle propulsio…
RT @DeptofDefense: If you want to get there as fast as possible, don’t stop for gas. ⛽ That’s why the @usairforce relies on airmen like Tec…
RT @DeptofDefense: Press ▶️ to learn more about @USAFCENT, the command that provides air & space warfighting capabilities to help defeat v…
Airmen with the Puerto Rico Air National Guard provide support at the “tent cities” to support Task Force South and… https://t.co/zg2yT0LqpS
Even the most advanced aircraft in history requires extensive maintenance performed by Airmen on the ground to kee… https://t.co/Kpv8JlzYIc
RT @AirMobilityCmd: Throwback Thursday and #TankerThirstThursday are the same game. Throwing it back to last month when a KC-135 Stratotank…
If you thought the C-5M Super Galaxy was cool before, wait until you hear @RichardHammond describe it and its capab… https://t.co/jbYbdyHx5q
Air National Guardsmen from @105AW are on the ground in Puerto Rico with their counterpart, @PRNationalGuard, provi… https://t.co/ZwzhCEpWY4
RT @HAFB: Join us for the Hill Air Force Base 80th Anniversary Celebration from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Jan. 18 at the Hill Aerospace Museum! A nu…
Ranges are crucial to the training and readiness of our warfighters. Get an inside look at how they prepare to figh… https://t.co/i5CnbpBGAw
.@cmsaf18 and his wingman, Senior Enlisted Advisor to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Chief Master Sergeant… https://t.co/UD69jCjHPz
#AirForce is always looking for ways to improve processes and patient health care is no different. @JBSA_Official h… https://t.co/ysEFjoXYCE
RT @USAF_ACC: You know what day it is. #WarthogWednesday! 🐗👏 #DYK the weapon on the #A10Thunderbolt II is a 30 millimeter GAU-8 and is des…
RT @SpaceForceDoD: Earlier today, @SpaceForceCSO Gen. John W. Raymond became the first ever Chief of Space Operations. @VP Vice President M…
C-17 Globemaster IIIs sit at @March_ARB, where their engines routinely receive special eco-washes to prevent corros… https://t.co/so1CEcJYsP
.@90thMissileWing's innovative #Airmen have developed a virtual care system. Learn how Airmen in the field can use… https://t.co/1EqZgBm0FR