The US Air Force (USAF) Civil Engineer Center (AFCEC) is replacing the 64-year-old runway at Little Rock Air Force Base (AFB), Arkansas, US.

Under the $180m worth project, the 12,000ft-long primary runway will be replaced.

This project will eliminate airfield obstructions and modify the lighting and navigation aid systems.

For the runway replacement project, AFCEC’s Facility Engineering Directorate has teamed up with the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center’s Detachment 9, 772nd Enterprise Sourcing Squadron and 19th Civil Engineering Squadron.

The project will be managed by AFCEC and Air Force Installation Contracting Center, primary subordinate units of Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center (AFIMSC).

The runway replacement will be executed by Contrack ECC.

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The project is expected to conclude in over 40 months in three phases. The first phase of development is scheduled to commence in October this year and will see the replacement of the landing zone and the centre 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.

AFCEC Facility Engineering Directorate director Colonel Scott Matthews said: “The airforce depends on the technical expertise of the professionals from AFCEC and 772nd ESS to deliver quality runway and infrastructure solutions for mission commanders.

“This runway is 64 years old and we have incorporated modern design and construction techniques to ensure the longest lifespan at the overall lowest life cycle cost.”

For the project, the AFCEC also serves as a design and construction agent.

Once replaced, the Little Rock AFB will provide rapid air mobility, reliable and safe runway.

Further, the runway will accommodate aircraft in the Air Mobility Command (MC) fleet including C-5 Galaxy, KC-10 Extender, C-17 Globemaster III and KC-135 Stratotanker.

USAF19th Airlift Wing installation commander Colonel John Schutte said: “This vital airfield construction project will posture Little Rock AFB to train, receive and project combat airlift forces for generations to come.

“The upgrades and modifications being made to our 12,000ft runway will improve both mission capability and safety for the largest fleet of C-130s in the world.”