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Dyess B-1s temporarily moved to allow for runway construction

by Senior Airman Carolyn Viss
7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

9/5/2007 - DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (ACCNS) -- In order to repair about 6,600 feet of runway space, Dyess Air Force Base will temporarily relocate 20 B-1 bomber aircraft and more than 550 personnel to Ellsworth AFB, S.D., beginning in mid-September. 

More than 11 other sites were considered, and Ellsworth AFB was chosen because it is the most cost-effective option, assuring the highest level of readiness for Dyess Airmen.
The construction will take place in order to keep deteriorating parts of the runway from producing debris that causes damage to aircraft engines. This was scheduled in coordination with the 7th Bomb Wing's recent deployment to Southwest Asia. Necessary repairs should be complete in about two months, according to Dyess officials. 

"This is a rare opportunity that we must capitalize on now in order to make much-needed repairs to our runway and preserve our wartime readiness," said Col. Timothy Ray, 7th Bomb Wing commander. "Our primary concerns were saving tax payers' dollars and remaining ready for the Global War on Terror." 

The Air Force will use Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers to complete the project. The RED HORSE team will apply the war-time training they receive here at forward-deployed locations including Iraq and Afghanistan. 

While the main runway will be closed, the current plan allows C-130s to continue operating off of Dyess' taxiway. In the interim, new paint and temporary landing lighting will be in place to assure the safety and well-being of crew members and the community, Dyess officials said. 

"Dyess' mission will remain: to provide world-class Airmen and air power to the warfighter," Colonel Ray said.

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