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RED HORSE Repairing the Runway

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Amir R. Young
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs

The 554th RED HORSE Squadron worked hand in hand with Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians with the 36th Civil Engineer Squadron, The U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, Royal Australian Air Force, and Koku-Jietei to complete rapid airfield damage repair training as a part of exercise COPE North 21, here, Feb. 18.

Rapid Airfield Damage Repair, or RADR training is a scalable approach to repairing a runway through the use of an assembly line repair process and tests both aspects of EOD’s ability to clear the runway of unexploded ordnance after an attack and is followed by the process of repairing the runway once all ordnance and explosives have been removed.

 “We are able to complete a repair that can withstand thousands of aircraft passes versus hundreds of passes,” said Master Sgt. Russell Wrenn, heavy repair section chief with 554th RED HORSE Squadron. “This allows engineers to meet the current threat in the AOR and to get aircraft back in the fight sooner.”

Various partner nations took part in helping repair the Airfield to assisting EOD in clearing the runway of unexploded ordnance.

“Working with partner nations is a rewarding experience,” said Wrenn, “Because we all receive the same initial training it is easy for EOD units, regardless of the branch of service, to easily communicate. The integration of multiple services and units into one team was seamless and allowed the team to execute the Rapid Explosive Hazard Mitigation (REHM) exercise. This allowed the RADR team to move onto the runway and complete the needed repairs.

COPE North is an annual U.S. Pacific Air Forces joint/combined, trilateral field training exercise with participants from all over the pacific area of responsibility. The primary focus of COPE North is the coordination of combined air tactics, techniques and procedures, and enhancing security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. The number of participants in the exercise is around 2,000 service members from various services and partner nations.

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