Preparing for High Intensity Warfare: Rapid Runway Repair

By John Goddin

09/04/2017: Rapid Airfield Damage Recovery, simply called RADR (pronounced “raider”), will soon be taught as part of the normal Silver Flag training curriculum.

This process was recently validated at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida.
A faster way to recover airfields after an enemy attack is poised to become a normal part of the Air Force’s Silver Flag training beginning in October.



Video by John Goddin

Air Force Civil Engineer Center/Public Affairs

The US military must be ready for anything (boom) at anytime (boom) especially in the form of an enemy attack.

One of the ways our adversaries attempt to inhibit our response capabilities is by damaging our airfields.

But thanks to a concept and process known as RADR, it won’t keep us down for long.

Lt. Col. Sutherland: It really started about 10 years ago.

We saw an emerging threat that came about that we needed to change the way that we repaired the airfields after an attack.

As part of Rapid Airfield Damage Recovery training nearly 200 students from ten of thirteen Air Force civil engineer career fields step outside their comfort zones and normal duties to perform heavy equipment operation and other technical skills in unison to fix relatively small craters after a simulated attack on a runway.

This event, hosted by the 823rd RED HORSE Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, was a trial to validate future RADR training.

TSgt David Curry: This is an “all hands on deck” type repair.

If you have this type of damage to your airfield, it’s gonna take everybody to get it up and running.

Lt. Col. Sutherland: “We’ve been able to get it down to a ‘Ford Motor Company assembly line process’.”

The entire RADR process can be done from start to finish on one crater in just over 3 hours.

An entire airfield operating surfaces recovered in only 6 1/2 hours!

The enemy changes; we’ve got to change to meet that threat!î
Rapid Airfield Damage Recovery ensures the warfighter is back up in the air bringing the fight to the enemy as rapidly as possible!
The can-do spirit that we have in civil engineering is alive and well!


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