No Airfield, No Problem

Airmen of the 809th Expeditionary RED HORSE are changing bare-bones Forward Operating Base Dwyer in southern Afghanistan’s Helmand Province into a hub for increased combat operations and medical evacuations. RED HORSE members “have run a six-month marathon to get construction underway,” said Capt. Vincent Rea, the detachment’s OIC. They first created a 200-foot by 2,000-foot helipad for Cobra gunships and Huey medical evacuation helicopters and then an assault landing strip to accommodate C-130s. To complete the 4,300-foot airstrip, the airmen worked with a 12-man Marine Corps team. The RED HORSE team also will set the foundation for a concrete airstrip, a 8,600-foot by 120-foot project that must “be done with extreme precision and meet strict code specifications” to hold up under a fully loaded C-17, said TSgt. Chad Lepley, pavements and construction equipment craftsman. (FOB Dwyer report by SSgt. Stacia Zachary)