CES improves Misawa's runway
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- A team of more than 50 individuals have been working tirelessly to repair the airfield and runway here since March.
The team of Airmen from the 35th Civil Engineer Squadron and Japanese contractors are responsible for ensuring the runway is improved with minimal interference to daily flying operations.
"Many of this fiscal year's projects have been catered to servicing and updating current runway conditions," said Kirk Schaumann, 35 CES construction management chief. "The west end touchdown, the overrun and the light system have exceeded their service date. They need repairs."
Upgrades include new concrete and asphalt, airfield lighting replacement, drainage runoff additions and extensions, re-sealing of the runway and surface painting. The numerous projects had heavy focus on laying new concrete and asphalt to the runway first and foremost.
In addition to the runway being re-paved, new lighting fixtures have been installed - the old lighting was more than 30 years old.
"Both the lights and the electrical system on the airfield have been replaced with over 300 new LED fixtures being added," said Mr. Shushin Tanaka, 35 CES government inspector and project manager. "In addition to having new lights, the system replacement allows the base to conserve energy over the long term."
The new drainage runoff has been expanded toward the northern section of the runway, allowing drainage to occur during both rainy periods and after heavy snowfall begins to melt.
It also eliminates another problem: birds.
"Previously, the ground surrounding the runway allowed rain water to pool onto the ground, attracting birds," said Tanaka. "The result of our construction changed the ground around the runway, funneling the water elsewhere."
The impact these runway projects will have in future operations is integral to successfully performing the mission at Misawa AB, according to Schaumann.
These projects all help strengthen 35th Fighter Wing Commander, Col. Timothy Sundvall's, vision of having combat-ready support at a moment's notice.
"We're a fighter base, so the airfield is extremely important. All the construction done is in support of the aircraft, U.S. Air Force, the RQ-4 Global Hawk, Japanese Air Self-Defense Force, the Navy, Japan Airlines - all of them," Schaumann said. "It all contributes to mission readiness."
Runway construction is tentatively scheduled to end in November, with other projects continuing into early next year.