Air Force civil engineers and local workers recently completed a $17 million runway resurfacing project at the Transit Center at Manas, Kyrgyzstan, an important air hub for sustaining operations in Afghanistan. “Improving the airfield here enhances [the center’s] four mission pillars of air refueling, airlift, onward movement, and strengthening local partnerships,” said Capt. Robert Bouffard, Manas’ 376th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron project manager. Indigenous contractors replaced a 3,000-foot section of Manas’ Runway 08 on time and within budget, according to the center’s Sept. 11 release. That work is expected to extend the runway’s lifespan by some 30 years, said base officials. Additional work on other portions of the runway is “scheduled to begin in the spring,” said 1st Lt. Matthew Francom, 376th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron airfield operations officer. The upcoming work will be “essentially the same project and the personal networks are already established,” he added. (Manas report by SSgt. Matt Benedetti)
More than 100 B-21s will be needed if the nation is to avoid creating a high demand/low capacity capability, panelists said on a Hudson Institute webinar. The B-21's flexibility, stealth, range and payload will be in high demand for a wide range of missions, both traditional and new.