C-130s line the runway before a flight at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. The Air Force Civil Engineer Center, in collaboration with Little Rock AFB, Air Force Installation Contracting Center and Air Force Installation Mission Support Center Detachment 9, awarded a $180 million contract to complete the runway replacement at the base. The project will replace the original runway infrastructure, constructed in 1956, involving the removal of airfield obstructions and modification of lighting for eight taxiways and the landing zone. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jessica Condit)
The Air Force Civil Engineer Center (AFCEC) has awarded a $180 million contract to replace the 64-year-old runway at Little Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas.
The project is being carried out as a collaboration between the AFCEC, the base, the Air Force Installation Contracting Center and the Air Force Installation Mission Support Center (AFIMSC) Detachment 9.
AFCEC and 772nd Enterprise Sourcing Squadron (772nd ESS) will oversee the enterprise while California-based contractor Contrack ECC LLC will build the new runway at Little Rock. The massive effort will replace the original runway infrastructure, constructed in 1956, and involve the removal of airfield obstructions and modification of lighting for eight taxiways and the landing zone.
The project is expected to conclude in 40 months in three phases. The first phase of development is scheduled to commence in October and will replace the landing zone and the center taxiway. Under phases 2 and 3, construction on the east and west portions of the runway and installation of new lighting and navigational aid systems will be carried out.
With the award of the contract to complete the runway replacement, Contrack ECC will initiate the construction on the landing zone, lighting systems and taxiways.
As AFCEC's Facility Engineering directorate oversees the execution of the project, it also provides design and planning, and ensures the project stays on time, within budget and applies resilient infrastructure solutions.
"The Air Force depends on the technical expertise of the professionals from AFCEC and 772nd ESS to deliver quality runway and infrastructure solutions for mission commanders" said Col. Scott Matthews, director of the AFCEC Facility Engineering Directorate. "This runway is 64 years old and we have incorporated modern design and construction techniques to ensure the longest lifespan at the overall lowest lifecycle cost."
Little Rock AFB provides agile combat airlift worldwide and trains pilots and aircrew for all Department of Defense branches. In order to provide rapid global mobility, the base needs a reliable, safe runway that meets the dimensions and weight-bearing capacity for its aircraft.
"This vital airfield construction project will posture Little Rock Air Force Base to train, receive, and project combat airlift forces for generations to come," said Col. John Schutte, 19th Airlift Wing and installation commander. "The upgrades and modifications being made to our 12,000-foot runway will improve both mission capability and safety for the largest fleet of C-130s in the world."
Once the runway is complete, the airfield will be at a length of 12,000 ft. and 150 ft. in width. That will allow it to accommodate not only the C-130s already maintained at Little Rock, but other aircraft in the Air Mobility Command fleet such as the C-5 Galaxy, KC-10 Extender, C-17 Globemaster III, and the KC-135 Stratotanker.