Friday, October 12, 2007

New Ramps Increase Bagram Capacity

2 Oct 07
By Capt. Michael Meridith
455th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs.

BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan — Two new flightline ramps have opened at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, bringing new capabilities to coalition air operations, NATO and U.S. Air Force officials said.

"These ramps represent a vision of continuous improvements in our warfighting capability," said Royal Netherlands Maj. Gen. Freek Meulman, the International Security Assistance Force's deputy commander for air. "They will serve as launch pads and resting sites for the long-term commitment of our coalition in the fight to achieve safety and security in Afghanistan."

The $9.3 million joint venture between the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency and the Yuksel Construction Co. provides significantly more parking space for helicopters and the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing's F-15E Strike Eagles and A-10 Thunderbolts, said Kevin Cullen, the project manager.

"These ramps represent quite a bit of capability for Bagram," said U.S. Air Force Col. Dan Debree, the vice commander of the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing. "I fly in the F-15E and this is something we desperately needed. Although ramp space here has increased by 70 percent in two years, it doesn't matter because a quick look will show you that every bit of it is used up."

Meulman said the ramp is one of a continuing series of projects designed to increase Bagram Air Base's ability to support coalition efforts throughout Afghanistan.

"We will continue to work together in building what I call an overwhelming capability in our common mission toward security and stability throughout Afghanistan,” Meulman said. “This new ramp will provide a long-lasting base for our dedicated airmen, who are committed to executing their challenging job here in Afghanistan."

Such projects also help fuel the local economy, said Cullen, noting that 80 Afghan workers were hired for the project, which was finished on time, on specification and within budget.

Photo - U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Jamie Cabral helps land an International Security Assistance Force helicopter on one of two new ramps that were opened to aircraft at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, Sept. 27, 2007. Cabral is a transient alert quality assurance evaluator for the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing. U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Michael Meridith.

Source: Defend America. Digg! Digg!

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