Representatives for the U.S. Air Force visited ERDC in Vicksburg last week to look at and provide feedback on the content and packaging of three Airfield Damage Repair kits that include ERDC-developed innovations with equipment for use in the field.
The three kits the Air Force is purchasing include supplies and equipment to make emergency repairs to airfields in austere environments, including expedient crater repair, spall repair and a specialty kit for repairs conducted in inclement weather. The Air Force Civil Engineering Center team looked at the content and layout of the kits, ensuring the kits included what was needed and were organized with one person in mind: the user.
“We represent the airmen in the field who’ll use these kits. We bring plenty of warfighter experience to apply here,” said Maj. Kelly Mattie of the U.S. Air Force Civil Engineering Center. “ERDC develops and tests the technology, and we help them add in the user’s perspective. It’s a great blend of ERDC and Air Force.”
The kits provide new capabilities for the Air Force, and are air-deliverable and interchangeable with similar kits in use by the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps for the joint operating environment. Included in the kits are ERDC-developed technologies, including composite airfield matting and anchoring systems, as well as power generation for hydraulic, pneumatic and electric tools.
“We’ve been working the Airfield Damage Repair mission at ERDC since 2005,” said Jeb Tingle, research civil engineer in ERDC’s Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory. “With new aircraft and new threats, it’s become a very important mission. ERDC is the DOD expert in Airfield Damage Repair technologies supporting the Army, the Marines, and the Air Force.”
Once the feedback from the customers at the Air Force is integrated, the kits are expected to be added to the Air Force inventory this year.