Runway Rubber Remover Debuts in Southwest Asia

Members of the 1st Expeditionary Civil Engineer Group are now using a new piece of equipment designed for removing rubber from the runways at forward air bases in Southwest Asia, according to an Air Force release. The modified Unimog machine is the first rubber-removal device that a C-130 transport can carry, states the Jan. 28 release from the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing, which operates in the theater. “This machine is one of a kind,” said Capt. Kathryn Miles, operations support chief in Air Forces Central’s installations section. The Unimog uses pressurized water to remove rubber; it will complement the detergent-based system that these civil engineers use to clean runways around the region, states the release. Keeping runways free of rubber buildup from aircraft tires is an important safety task since these rubber deposits, over time, can “cause a hazard to aircraft, especially in wet conditions,” said Miles. (379th AEW report by SrA. Joel Mease)