Grissom Air Reserve Base Runway To Be Upgraded

March 23, 2023

Mar. 22—BUNKER HILL — It'll likely be a little quieter in the skies around Grissom Air Reserve Base for awhile.

Beginning this month, a $60 million project to upgrade the base's 12,501 feet long runway is expected to keep Grissom's fleet of KC-135s away from the facility through at least the end of the summer, according to a media release by the 434{sup}th{/sup} Air Refueling Wing.

The aircraft, aircrew, maintainers and support staff will operate primarily out of the Fort Wayne International Airport during the early stages of the project, per the release, before transitioning to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, until the runway repair is completed.

"Runway repairs are typically done every 10 years," 434{sup}th{/sup} Air Refueling Wing Commander Col. Thom Pemberton said in the release. "This time is a little different, they are removing concrete down to the dirt in many areas — which is something that has not been done since it was built in 1942."

Officials added that some of the KC-135R Stratotankers have already started their move to Fort Wayne, and planners have been working with the airport staff and 122{sup}nd{/sup} Fighter Wing to ensure a smooth transition throughout the entire process.

The 434{sup}th{/sup} Air Refueling Wing is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker wing in the Air Force Reserve Command, though not all of the 16 aircrafts assigned to the unit will be making the move.

Some have been loaned to other units, according to the release, while others are "undergoing depot-level maintenance that will reduce the footprint of the forward locations."

Once all the aircraft that are expected to be relocated are officially gone from the facility, officials say base members can then expect to see increased traffic from heavy equipment and trucks as they haul materials to and from the construction site.


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