Assault landing zone construction project on track at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma

By Preston Chasteen, Tulsa District

A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Tulsa District, contractor operates a self-propelled RS-650 Reclaimer/Stabilizer to mix loose soil and material in preparation for constructing an Assault Landing Zone (ALZ) runway on Altus Air Force Base, Okla., July 20, 2018. The reclaimer is also used for stabilizing subgrade material by mixing existing soil with water from a connected water truck. (Released/Official U.S. Army Photo By: Edward N. Johnson)

Altus Air Force Base is home to the 97th Air Mobility Wing. The 97th AMW plans and executes C-17, KC-135 formal school initial and advanced specialty training programs for up to 3,000 students annually.

In addition, the 97th AMW sustains C-17, KC-135 airland, airdrop and air refueling mobility forces, and provides air traffic control and weather forecasting for flying operations.

In May, 2018, the Tulsa District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began replacing the assault landing zone at Altus. Pilots at Altus AFB use this runway to train in assault landing zone procedures.

The overall contract is for demolition and repair of Assault Landing Zone Runway with Portland Cement Concrete. The repair will include replacing the existing Asphaltic Cement Concrete with PCC.

Requirement consists of 41,000 square yards of runway, 20,212 sy of shoulder, and 9,675 sy of overrun area.

During the 152 day construction phase of the Altus Air Force Base Assault Landing Zone, multiple features of work will be accomplished.

Work will include PCC demolition, ACC demolition, excavation, grading, electrical work, underdrain inspection, asphalt drainage layer installation, PCC paving, asphalt paving shoulder/overrun, and airfield markings.

Core samples were taken as part of the evaluation of the initial concrete test section. Three days after completion of the test section, eight core samples at least six inches in diameter by full depth cut from selected points were taken. The cores will be evaluated for surface paste, uniformity of aggregate distribution, segregation, voids, and thickness.

Concrete will be produced for the Altus ALZ project from one of its two Vince Hagan batch plants. The Hagan plants are identical with a capacity of 1.0 — 11.0 cubic yards per cycle.

“The plant is complete with feed bins, conveyors, weigh scales, cement and fly ash storage, admixture storage and control, batch mixer, and a control shack. A portable generator is provided for site power with access to various chillers and water heaters for temperature control if required,” said Aaron Trice, Tulsa District site Quality Assurance Representative.

According to Trice, “A portable asphalt plant has also been erected on-site at Altus AFB to complete the asphalt paving requirements of the contract. The plant is complete with feed bins, asphalt oil storage, lime and mineral filler silos, load out hopper with certified weigh scales, and bag house for particulate control.”

“With the presence of onsite plants, a construction site will benefit from a constant supply of concrete and asphalt. A steady supply of both is key to ensuring the construction site is as productive as possible,” stated Trice.

“Relying on a concrete supplier to deliver concrete to your site can result in delays. With your own onsite plants, you can ensure that your material is mixed to the exact specifications and quantities required.”

The new assault landing zone at Altus AFB is expected to be complete in early 2019 at a total cost just under $12 million.

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