Ramstein runway repairs boost Mildenhall pace
RAF MILDENHALL, England — Air and truck traffic will increase soon at RAF Mildenhall, England, as the base picks up the pace while the runway at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, undergoes needed repairs.
Lt. Col. Tim Taylor, operations officer for the 727th Air Mobility Squadron, said roughly 12 wide-body cargo aircraft each week and about 15 large trucks each day will be added to the flow of what will be a two-week increase in the workload.
During normal times, the base would receive two or three cargo aircraft each week and about three trucks each day.
“We’re real excited about it, actually,” said Taylor, who has been planning for the increase for about one month.
He said it is a good way to show the only aerial port in England is “up to the challenge and a viable option for any contingency in the future.”
The runway at Ramstein will be closed fully or partially for about 10 days while it undergoes repairs. It will close on Sept. 13 and open fully again on Sept. 22.
During that time, cargo to support the military on the Continent and in the Middle East will fly to RAF Mildenhall and be trucked to the Theater Distribution Center in Kaiserslautern, Germany, Taylor said.
“We anticipate some delays,” Taylor said, as the cargo is carried by truck more than 500 miles from England to the center. But that has been built into the system, he said, and customers should see no change in delivery.
“We’re getting a significant amount of help from Ramstein,” he said.
“They’re sending about 60 people [from the 723rd Air Mobility Squadron] to help us out,” said Taylor. Plus, they will ship cargo-handling equipment — forklifts and the like — from Germany to England.
Taylor said the entire base would be involved. The 100th Logistics Readiness Squadron, for example, will provide more fuel than normal and more buses for air crew transportation.
The folks in the billeting office have been warned to expect some surprise guests if an aircraft breaks. The 100th Services Squadron is on call.
The 727th AMS employs about 100 Ministry of Defence workers, some of whom have been on the job more than 30 years. Taylor said their experience will be important.
“It’s that whole Team Mildenhall concept,” he said.
Taylor likened the effort to a big puzzle, with pieces coming and going, by truck and by aircraft.
“The systems are already in place to solve that puzzle,” he said.
“It’s just a matter of doing it on a larger scale.”