Runways? Herks Don’t Need Runways

According to 317th Airlift Group historian Bruce Stewart at Dyess AFB, Tex., a C-130 Hercules made history when it took off last month from “Runway 16L,” which is actually a former taxiway. Dyess sent its B-1B bomber force to Ellsworth when it closed the runway for repairs, but the 317th AG decided to stay put so its airmen could complete flying and ground training for deployments for upcoming air expeditionary force rotations, and preserve some family time. “Our people are weary,” said Lt. Col. Edward Hennigan, adding, “A CONUS ‘deployment’ while back home for reconstitution would have been, in my opinion, devastating … and would have had a long-term impact.” So, the 823rd Red HORSE engineers provided an emergency lighting system and the rest, as they say, is history.