Joint Rapid Airfield Construction (JRAC)

Dr. Gary Anderton
2008-11-13
Engineer Research and Development Center; Joint Rapid Airfield Construction

Program Objective

The Joint Rapid Airfield Construction program will develop materials and techniques for rapidly upgrading existing or constructing new contingency airfields in-theater with a low logistical footprint. From the airfield site assessment, site selection, construction, soil stabilization, and even through the repair and maintenance stages, JRAC will transform the U.S. military’s approach to rapid contingency airfield engineering.

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GO ANYWHERE!

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Photos: Various Aircraft/Airfields

REALLY QUICKLY!

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Photo: Army Staff/Aircraft/Airfield/Heavy Equipment

THE PATTERN IS FULL!

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Photo: Aircraft in flight

Army Unit of Action (UA)

10,910 Short Tons (ST)

C-17 = 45 ST / aircraft

243 C-17 Sorties

C-17 Ground Time = 2 hrs.

7 day Closure (assuming 24/7 Ops, 1400 NM and MOG = 3)

ENABLE THEATER ACCESS

Problem:

  • Lack of Infrastructure
  • Anti-Access

Rapid Port Enhancement/RPE Objectives:

  • Maximize TSV Utility
  • Increase number of Potential Port Sites
  • Increase number of Lanes Per Site
  • Decrease Cube/Weight and Times Per Deployment of Systems
  • 6.2 STO

Joint Rapid Airfield Construction (JRAC) Objectives:

  • Increase airfield MOG capacity
  • Increase airfield location options
  • Decrease engineering timelines and logistical requirements
  • 6.3 STO

A JRAC SCENARIO

Problem Scenario: Insufficient (maximum-on-ground capacity) for 96 hr deployment = MOG1 airfield

JRAC Solution: MOG increased in 48 hours= MOG2 airfield

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Photo: Remote/Expedient Site Assessment

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Photo: Enhanced Construction Technologies

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Photo: Rapid Stabilization and Lightweight Mats

How does JRAC allow for such a paradigm shift?

JRAC Research Pillars

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Photo: Site Selection

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Photo: Enhanced Construction

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Photo: Rapid Stabilization 

JRAC Statistics:

  • 28 work units
  • Over 30 researchers
  • $23.2M in Army funds
  • 6 years in 6.2/6.3 phase

JRAC increases airfield options, reduces logistical requirements, and projects the force…Anytime and Anywhere!

Site Selection

OBJECTIVE

Provide decision aids to rank and select sites for contingency airfields based on engineering effort, mission suitability, pavement design and construction requirements, and airfield performance under traffic.

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Photo of Terrain/Site, Map and Rapid Soil Descriptor Database: Material Data

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Photos of Terrain/Site, Simulation Data: Terrain/Site Data

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Photo of Airfield, Simulation Data: Performance Simulation

 

ENHANCED CONSTRUCTION TECHNOLOGY

OBJECTIVE

Increase overall design and construction productivity with reduced logistical footprint.

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Photos: Expedient Construction – Rapid Repairs, GPS Instrumentation

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Simulation Data: Integrated Design and Construction Planning – Given Terrain, Design Overlay, Construction Monitoring

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Photos: Rapid Quality Control – Soil Strength, Soil Stiffness, Soil Density

 

RAPID STABILIZATION

OBJECTIVE

Reduce time and increase strength/durability for airfield stabilization.

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Photos: Mechanical Stabilization – Geofibers, Geocells

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Photos: Chemical Additives – Acids, Enzymes, Polymers, Tree Resins, Petroleum Emulsions, Lignosulfonates

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Photos: Mat Systems – AM-2 Aluminum Mat, DURABASE (Heavy), Fiberglass (Light), Next Generation Composite Mats 

FY03 Major Activities

  • Stabilized Soil Test Section
  • Rapid MOG Enhancement Test Sections
  • CRREL Stabilization Test Section
  • Enhanced Equipment Evaluations
  • Evaluation and Development of QC Tools Evaluation of Rapid Assessment Tools

Select FY04 Demo Site

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Photo: Test Facility at ERDC Vicksburg

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Photo: HVS Mark IV in CRREL Frost Effects Research Facility

FY04 Demo

Objective

Construct C-130 “contingency” airfield using realistic scenarios and resources with JRAC technologies. The intent is to partnership with a scheduled exercise. Demo will include:

  • Site Selection and Assessment Demo
  • C-130 Airfield Construction Demo
  • Traffic and Performance Evaluation

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Photos: Aircraft/Airfield

 

Technical Issues:         Gary Anderton (ERDC)

Operational Issues:    Travis Mann (ERDC)

                                        Jeff Edmonds (MANSCEN)

Selection of JRAC Demo Site

Selection Criteria

  • Pre-existing semi-prepared airfield
  • Active airfield operations
  • Capacity for limited upgrade
  • Location with options – multiple airfields
  • Active engineering and construction components
  • Post-demonstration traffic

Ft. Bragg, NC

Sicily ALZ

20th Engineer Brigade

Ft. Bragg – Sicily ALZ

  • C130 Capable
  • Approximately 3500 feet with parallel taxiway
  • Very susceptible to seasonal moisture
  • Surface moisture content currently 13-14%
  • Structurally adequate
  • Maintenance requirements include allowing the surface to dry and then conducting minor grading

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Photo: Typical example of drainage problems

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Photo: Rutting caused by ground vehicles

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Graph: Representative strength measurement

 

JRAC 04 Demo

“A Joint Exercise”

  • MOG Expansion of Sicily ALZ
  • Probable additional airfield reconstruction efforts
  • Possible surfaced airfield repairs at McCall LZ
  • Host - 20th Engineer Brigade
  • ERDC coordinates joint force participation
  • 2-4 weeks on site
  • Each participating agency brings own people, equipment and funding
  • JRAC Researchers – What are you bringing?

JRAC 04 Demo

Way Ahead:

  • Verbal commitment by 25 Aug 03
  • Memorandum of Agreement by 30 Sept 03
  • ERDC provides site assessment by 31 Dec 03
  • ERDC provides demo design by 31 Jan 04
  • ERDC provides JRAC training at Ft. Bragg (Demo – 30 days)
  • JRAC Demonstration (July – August 04)
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