News: RED HORSE aircraft ramp construction on BAF nears completion
Story by Tech. Sgt. Rob Hazelett
BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan - The perimeter flightline road construction undertaken by the 557th Expeditionary RED HORSE squadron here will be completed by the end of August.
A crew of 12 personnel from the 819th RED HORSE Squadron at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., and the 555th RED HORSE Squadron at Nellis AFB, Nev., began working on the more than half-mile project upon their arrival here April 25.
The overall purpose of the road is to connect the East- and West-side aircraft ramps with a perimeter road to eliminate the need for vehicles that are trying to go from one side to the other from crossing the runway.
Having this road is especially important now that Zulu Taxiway is the active runway and there is construction on the main runway. The fewer vehicles getting in the way of both of those operations, the smoother they run, Joerdens said.
“This project is designed ‘in-house’ by RED HORSE, which is something that sets us apart from other engineer units and then constructed using troop labor,” said Capt. Philip Joerdens, 557th Expeditionary RED HORSE Squadron officer in-charge, deployed from Shaw AFB, S.C. “That saves on the overall cost of the project since we do not have to pay contractors to build it.”
“We've brought in a lot of material and built up the area where the road is because the natural soil for this area is not conducive to supporting the weight loads that come with vehicle traffic,” said Joerdens, who hails from Ellicott City, Md. “The crew has spent a lot of time placing the material, compacting it to give it more strength and making sure it is at the proper height so future rain and snowmelt does not cause flooding on the road.”
RED HORSE squadrons are self-sufficient units that provide the U.S. Air Force with a highly mobile civil engineering response force to support contingency and special operations worldwide.