By Senior Airman Mercedes Taylor, 19th Airlift Wing
/ Published June 24, 2016
Mark Roncal, an Advanced Cutting Concrete and Sealing contractor, cuts concrete on the runway construction site June 21, 2016, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. A section of Little Rock AFB runway is receiving an update from its original 1955 build. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Mercedes Taylor)
Little Rock Air Force Base, the Home of Combat Airlift and the Center of Excellence, is no stranger to high operation tempo. Deployment and training operations haven’t slowed down since the runway construction kicked off in July 2015.
Since 1955, the base’s runway has been utilized for a variety of missions throughout its 60 years of operation. The current construction project will be updating the runway from its original build and is scheduled to last approximately two years.
“As of right now, we’re in the second phase of construction,” said Kerry Miller, 19th Operations Support Squadron airfield manager. “During this phase, assault zone, which simulates a deployed location landing, will be replaced. Once we begin the third phase, we’ll open up that area and get a portion of the runway back.”
Despite only a portion of the runway is utilized, the Combat Airlift mission doesn’t stop. The runway supports a variety of missions between the 19th, 314th and 189th Airlift Wings such as airdrops, personnel transport and C-130 pilot training.
“There is an average of approximately 1,200 to 1,300 sorties each month,” Miller said.
While the base runway currently supports the Combat Airlift mission, there isn’t enough space to hold an airshow. However, the base will be hosting a Military Expo Sept. 17, 2016.
Little Rock AFB is partnering with Camp Joseph T. Robinson and other military units to showcase various capabilities such as equipment, aircraft static displays, flyovers, personnel and cargo drops, military working dogs and explosive ordinance disposal.
“The state of Arkansas and the local communities support our military in a variety of ways,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Julie Honeycutt, Expo director. “The Expo is an amazing opportunity to show our community how their support helps us accomplish our mission and contributes to the larger national defense.”
Visit http://www.rockinattherock.com/arkansasmilitaryexpo.shtml for more information about the Expo.