On the Short Strip

The Air Force’s C-17 force has a new assault strip, this one in Wyoming at the Camp Guernsey Joint Training Center, where National Guard officials and guests officially opened the newly modified runway Oct. 17. The first C-17 to try the 5,500-foot-long and 90-foot-wide strip with new turnaround points hailed from McChord AFB, Wash. Lt. Col. James Twiford, commander of McChord’s 7th Airlift Squadron, said the new runway offered “great capabilities to prepare for contingency operations more similar to what our military sees in current conflicts.” Air Force officials in Alaska last month opened a similar strip, this one at Allen Army Airfield, near Elmendorf Air Force Base. Maj. Joseph O’Rourke, 62nd Airlift Wing operations chief, said that C-17 aircraft commanders must conduct assault landings every training cycle, making such assault strips “vital” to the C-17 community. (Includes 62nd AW report by SrA. Kirsten Wicker)