Altus Evaluates Airstrip as Potential Training Site

Dwarfing the tiny runway, a C-17 from Altus AFB, Okla., landed at Marshall Army Airfield, Kan., a part of Fort Riley, last week to help evaluate the site as a short-field training location for Altus’ C-17 student pilots. Riley’s resident Army unit, the 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, is deployed to Iraq, leaving the airfield available to Altus’ 97th Air Mobility Wing while the airstrip the wing normally uses undergoes repair. According to an article in the Daily Union of Junction City, Kan., Marshall’s 4,500-foot concrete runway and on-site emergency response unit seemed to meet the wing’s requirements, paving the way for possible use in the near future. “Most of that training will probably be touch-and-go landings,” said airfield manager Troy Mattingly. The C-17 is configured so that is can operate from unimproved, forward operating locations, making short-field training an indispensible skill for C-17 aircrews flying into places like Afghanistan. (Daily Union report via Fort Riley release)