Support: April 9, 2002

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Operations in Afghanistan have uncovered a rift between military airfield engineers and the people who build and operate the new C-17 transport. The crux of the dispute is the standard the army and air force airfield engineers use for Rapid Runway Repair (RRR). While the C-17 is touted as being capable of landing on rough landing areas, exact standards for how rough those landing strips could be was never worked out. This has created some tense moments in Afghanistan as C-17s landed on runways repaired by various RRR techniques. The older, lighter and more rugged C-130 didn't have problems with the existing RRR standards, but the larger C-17 was needed for it's longer range and higher payload. As a result of this, the RRR engineers and aircraft operators are got together in March to work out better standards for what constitutes a rapidly repaired runway.

 


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