Charleston Completes Runway Upgrade

Officials at JB Charleston, S.C., held a ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the opening of the base’s new main runway after 13 months of construction, according to a base release. “This was a great team effort,” said Lt. Col. Pat Miller, 628th Civil Engineer Squadron commander, in the release on the Aug. 7 ribbon cutting. “The planning started in 2003 and the contract was signed in 2011. Construction began in 2012, and a year and 50 days later, we now have a new runway,” he added. The new runway, which replaced the previous, more-than-40-year-old main runway, cost about $40 million to build, according to the release. It is 9,000 feet long, 150 feet wide, features 18-inch-thick concrete, and has high-efficiency lighting fixtures, improved infrastructure for navigational aids, and an updated aircraft arresting system for fighter aircraft that need to land at Charleston due to mechanical issues. Charleston is one of the Air Force’s C-17 hubs. The 437th Airlift Wing and Air Force Reserve Command’s 315th AW operate a force of more than 50 C-17s there. (Charleston report by Capt. Frank Hartnett)