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Ramstein's north airstrip receives makeover

by Master Sgt. John Lasky
Air Force Print News

8/2/2006 - RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany (AFPN) -- The north runway here is under a nearly $20 million, three-phase construction plan that will extend it 1,000 feet and allow heavier air transports to take off fully loaded.

"Construction started in mid-April and it's one week ahead of the planned completion date of January 1," said Capt. David Vanderburg, chief of construction management with Ramstein's 435th Civil Engineer Squadron.

Two phases of the construction are simultaneously working on opposite ends of the runway, leaving the taxiway in the middle open for access to the recently completed south runway.

Nearly $28 million was spent transforming a taxiway into what is now the south landing strip. Some of that price tag was paid for with NATO funds.

Ramstein's original single runway was built for jet fighters that don't need as much room to get airborne. The length of the runway prohibited the full use of the heavy air transports, making it necessary to fly more aircraft to fulfill mission requirements. Today the C-17 Globemaster III and C-5 Galaxy aircrews are collecting their frequent flyer miles via this landing strip.

The host 86th Airlift Wing and the 723rd Air Mobility Squadron will be the primary users of the runway, which will stretch nearly 10,000 feet.

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