Ribbon-cutting ceremony marks completion of runway restoration

Col. Frank Samuelson (third from the right), Lt. Col Uwe Schulz (third from the left) and other key personnel in the runway restoration project cut a ribbon Sept. 22, 2014, during a ceremony to mark the completion of the project. (Photo by Andrea Hohenforst)
Sep 23, 2014
The E-3A Component held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sept. 22, 2014, at NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen, Germany, to signify the completion of its runway restoration project.

The ceremony marks the end of a project that started at the beginning of May to resurface the top portion of the Component’s 30 year-old runway with 30 centimetres of asphalt.

"Today is a very special day for the Component because we completed a something that has never been done here before,” said Col. Frank Samuelson, the Component’s Logistics Wing commander. "We’ve built new buildings; we’ve upgrade our aircraft, but we’ve never restored our runway.”

The E-3A Component held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sept. 22, 2014, at NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen, Germany, to signify the completion of its runway restoration project.The original runway was constructed in the early 1980s and was only expected to last about 20 years. Patch-work was completed to extend the life of the runway, but the time had come for a complete resurfacing. The restoration project eliminated the concrete surface which had started to deteriorate over the past several years.

In total, resurfacing the 3,048 meter runway took approximately 125,000 tons of asphalt, more than 19,000 tons of subsoil and over six kilometres of drainage.

"With the completion of this project, it is expected that the Component can safely operate out of Geilenkirchen for at least another 20 years,” Colonel Samuelson said.

The runway restoration project was completed by using work cycles consisting of 11 work days and three fly days.

"We couldn’t simple close our runway for six months and that made this project very challenging for everyone involved,” Colonel Samuelson said. "I can assure you there were serious concerns about the feasibility of the project phase schedule.”

The colonel explained that the construction company was very helpful. "There were no major show stoppers,” he said. "In fact, the two words we heard from them the most were kein Problem.”

 
 

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