Michael Army Airfield (MAAF)
Dugway Proving Ground, Utah
Michael Army Airfield (MAAF), with its 13,125 foot runway, is a major support asset for multi-service developmental and operational tests. Located on Michael Army Airfield, the Avery Technical Center is capable of providing administrative and maintenance facilities for collocating test programs with test assets. Storage facilities are also available but must be scheduled on a space available basis.
Dugway Proving Ground (DPG) is located 140 km/87 miles southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah in sparsely populated Tooele County. It is accessible by Interstate Highway 80 which runs 60 km/37 miles north of DPG. Access by air is provided by Michael Army Airfield, which is the primary emergency recovery airfield for the Utah Test and Training Range, the largest area available in the Defense Department for aircrew training and weapons testing.
Currently, the airfield requires significant repairs to the main runway, taxiways and parking aprons to remain open and operational. The runway was originally constructed in 1951 and has been in disrepair since 1985, with high severity cracking on the runway.
The flight-test program for the X-33, an unmanned reusable launch vehicle being developed by NASA and Lockheed Martin, called for suborbital flights between Edwards AFB, California; Michael AAF at Dugway Proving Grounds, Utah; and Malmstrom AFB, Montana.
The X-33 flight test program was designed to allow rapid acquisition of necessary data while incrementally expanding the flight envelope. The X-33 was to be launched from the Edwards Air Force Base complex. The first series of flights was to be flown to Michael Army Airfield at the Dugway Proving Grounds, Utah. These flights were to acquire the bulk of the stress, thermal, aero, real gas effects, and operational test objectives. The next series of flights was to be flown to Malmstrom Air Force Base at Great Falls, Montana to acquire additional increments of real gas effects data. All flight test objectives were planned to be completed in seven flights. Eight additional flights were planned to incorporate any missed objectives during the first seven flights and to provide additional data for durability and reusability. The X-33 vehicle was to be transported back to the launch facility via a ground transporter after each flight.
Critical to the mission of Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, is the runway at Michael Army Airfield (AAF). Dugway is the primary chemical-biological weapon test and evaluation center for the Army. Unique to the installation is the 860,000+ acres of Utah high desert within the fence line. This makes it one of the only installations capable of doing unencumbered training exercises, often involving joint land and air training.
In May 2000 the Senate Appropriations Committee approved $1.5 million in Bennett requested funds for the planning and designing of a new airfield at Dugway Proving Ground. During a visit to Dugway Proving Ground in early 2000, Senator Bob Bennett (R-Utah) saw the poor condition of the runway at Michael AAF and recognized the need for rehabilitation. "After visiting Michael Army Airfield at Dugway Proving Ground earlier this year, I was alarmed to see the runway in such disrepair," said Bennett. "Given the importance of this airway to Hill Air Force Base in addition to Dugway, I am surprised that the army has allowed it to fall into such a substandard condition." The Senator directed a project be developed to either rehabilitate the existing runway or construct a new one. Cost-benefit analysis determined that construction of a new runway would be more beneficial. A planning charette was conducted (without the aid of the Corps) and a sticker price of $18 million was determined and forwarded to Congress.
As Dugway is within the geographic military boundary for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District they were given the project to design and provide project management, construction management and fiscal closeout. At a pre-design meeting with the installation and other potential airfield customers a cost of $28 million price was determined for the "ultimate wish list". In order to generate a viable project that could be constructed for the $18 million forwarded to Congress, the Transportation Systems Center was called to a design charette to create ways to comply with current criteria, mission requirements while reducing the total estimated costs.
The team successfully reduced the project to $18 million by: reducing the runway length to 10,000 feet, deleting the main apron from the project, obtaining materials from a quarry to be developed on base and constructing two batch plants (concrete and asphalt) rather than importing in all the materials. The Sacramento District continued to investigate alternatives (use of recycled materials and refinements to the structural section) and developed a scope for a 12,000-foot runway that still met the $18 million restriction.
The project to reconstruct the runway was identified as a "congressional add" and was slated for design in FY02 and construction in FY03. However, as of September 2001 it had been pushed out into "future year" execution. The installation and AMC Test & Evaluation Command, as well as the Air Force, were concerned, as the existing 13,125 foot asphalt runway is in poor condition and will likely be shut down or will have severe limitations placed on its use very soon.
On 29 October 1992, four MH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters departed from Hill AFB, UT in a joint training exercise enroute to Michael Army Airfield, Dugway, UT. Two Air Force helicopters assigned to the 55th Special Operations squadrons Eglin AFB and two Army helicopters assigned to the 1st Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, Ft. Campbell, KY, participated. One of the Air Force helicopters crashed into the Great Salt Lake. Three crew members and nine passengers from the Army Rangers and Air Force personnel were killed instantly upon impact.
In 1997 Bacillus subtillis var. niger and propylene release trials were conducted during the 911-Bio Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD). The primary ACTD experiments were staged at the Michael Army Airfield hangar and the German Village (GV) apartment complex, Dugway Proving Ground, UT. The 911- BIO ACTD evaluated and accelerated the fielding of new technologies for use by the Army's Technical Escort Unit and the CBIRF to respond quickly and effectively to terrorist use of BW. As a result of the Consequence Management 911-Bio ACTD, the "Chem War 2000" exercise, and a number of studies conducted by the Air Force and the Joint Staff, a new "Restoration Operations" ACTD was developed to examine the doctrine, tactics, techniques, procedures, and equipment required to recover quickly from CW/BW attacks on ports, airfields, and other fixed sites.
The Ditto wastewater collection and treatment system also serves the Avery Technical Center area and Michael Army Airfield. In outlying areas, some buildings are serviced by a septic tank and drain field system. The old system was abandoned in place. The collection system incorporates a series of primarily 6- and 8-inch gravity lines flowing into a 10-inch vitrified clay main which, in turns, flows to the lagoons. The system has approximately 16,500 feet of wastewater collection mains and 64 manholes. A sewage lift station pumps effluent from Avery and Michael Army Airfield into the Ditto collection system via a 4-inch force main. A final lift station at the endof the main collection line pumps influent into the lagoon system. A new headworks and lagoon system was completed in 1992 to serve the Ditto wastewater system. The new lagoon system is comprised of three cells with a holding capacity of one million gallons per cell. Lagoons have five floating mechanical aerators (2 in Cells 1 and 2, and one in Cell 3). Effluent flows to an open, evaporative holding area.
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