Dirty Herk Dancing

New Mexico Army and Air National Guardsmen are reopening an abandoned airstrip at Ft. Stewart, Ga., to provide Georgia Air Guard C-130 crews a place to practice short-field operations. “We were really looking for an area where we could do a dirt landing with the C-130s and have a combination drop zone/landing zone for our exercises,” said Col. Todd Freesemann, commander of the Georgia ANG’s Combat Readiness Training Center, in an Associated Press report on Jan. 21 (via The Augusta Chronicle). Aircrews from the 165th Airlift Wing based at Savannah “haven’t been able to practice that skill in an ideal location like this in many years,” he said. When the work is done, the New Mexico Guardsmen will have cleared and compacted a strip about 90 feet wide and 4,700 feet long, according to AP. The reborn strip is expected to see its first use in March at the CRTC’s Global Guardian exercise.