eADR: The solution to quick and easy airfield damage repair

Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 3:29 PM CST
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TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFIMSC) - For the last three years, Air Force Civil Engineer Laboratory experts at Tyndall Air Force Base have developed technologies and selected the most practical equipment to create a capability called “expedient and expeditionary airfield damage repair.”

“This is what it would look like if something happened overseas in theater, this is what the process would be,” Dr. Bobby Diltz, Airfield Damage Recovery RDT&E Program Manager, said.

An out-of-commission airfield after an enemy attack presents a huge risk to airmen and the mission. That’s why AFIMSC experts at the Air Force Civil Engineer Center, along with their Army and Navy partners, have developed a quick and easy solution to get airfields up and running again.

“This is eADR. So, this is called the ‘expedient and expeditionary airfield damage repair.’ These are uniformed airmen so this is no longer the lab technicians or people that have done this process,” Dr. Diltz said.

“We’ve actually exceeded expectations. We’ve got 14 guys, 7 equipment operators, and then the rest are ‘N-Es’ NEFSC. We’ve got services guys, we’ve got a safety guy, we have a mix of ‘N-Es’ to fall into ADR,” TSgt Chad Parnell, NCOIC of Pavement and Equipment Contingency Training, of Detachment 1, 823rd RED HORSE Squadron, said.

To start the process, and to keep airmen out of harm’s way, with eADR, small unmanned aerial systems collect imagery to assess damaged pavement after an explosion before actual the repairs take place.

“We have joint partners, there’s us here at AFCEC, then we have folks coming from the Navy and we have folks from the Army Corps of Engineers here testing some of their technologies as well,” Dr. Diltz said.

eADR is designed to be somewhat of a ‘mini version’ of rapid airfield damage recovery, or ‘RADR.’

“RADR’s going continue, RADR has its place, but there are lots of times where we need ‘just enough, just in time,’” Dr. Dilz said.

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