Images: Camp Bastion runway officially becomes operational [Image 7 of 9]
Photo by Sgt. Derek Carlson
Two Afghan National Army soldiers stand in observance of the Afghan, U.K. and U.S. national anthems during the Camp Bastion flightline ribbon-cutting ceremony in Afghanistan Feb. 10. The extensive three-year flightline project was a joint effort between Marines, sailors, airmen and local contractors. The new 11,500-foot runway allows the joint camps of Bastion and Leatherneck to receive air traffic from larger aircraft, such as the C-5 Galaxy, Boeing 737 and Antonov AN-124 Condor. Subsequently, it will assist in reducing the amount of civilian and military convoys traveling to and from Leatherneck and Bastion. This will reduce the threat of roadside improvised explosive devices, as well as reduce the number of aircraft needed to transport large numbers of service members within the area of operations. The previous 7,000-foot runway remains utilized as a taxiway for aircraft traveling to and from the airfield, while the new runway is now officially open for business.