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November 24, 2011
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13 weekly prizes of a
TK runway eases load
LS Paul Berry
MULTINATIONAL Base Tarin
Kot's all-weather runway has
enhanced capability for Australian,
coalition and Afghan National Se-
curity Forces since its completion
six months ago.
Officially opened on April 14
this year, the new runway boosts
safety and logistics, and sig-
nificantly decreases maintenance
issues for aircraft and vehicles
operating on the strip.
The US$28 million upgrade
from dirt strip to 2225m concrete
runway has also been one of the
most significant infrastructure
projects for southern Afghanistan
in recent times.
CO of the JTF633 C-130 Task
Unit, SQNLDR Krishaan Wright,
said the new strip had made life
easier for flight crews, passengers
and air load teams.
"The first time I went in on that
dirt strip it was a big eye-opener,
it was probably one of the more
challenging runways a C-130 pilot
would go into," SQNLDR Wright
said. "It was a loose dirt surface
and a short runway, so the opera-
tional weight of the aircraft going
in had to be quite light, and lighter
still for the take-off.
"The new runway is as long as
our home base back at Richmond,
so it's taken a lot of the stress off
the guys and it also means we can
fly in and out with a greater pay-
The ability for aircraft to carry
greater loads means a larger sup-
ply pipeline to the base, which
translates to less flying and less
risk to flight crews. The sealed sur-
face opens the strip for use during
the cold and wet winter months
and the addition of runway light-
ing allows air traffic day or night.
The sealed apron also increases
safety for passengers and the air
"We only conducted engine
running on-loads and offloads on
the dirt gravel environment, so
we would be sitting on the ground
with dirt, dust and rocks blow-
ing all over the place," SQNLDR
"Now it's like operating on a
dusty piece of concrete basically,
it's far safer all round."
Tarin Kot air lift team member
FSGT Mark Warner said the con-
crete runway and apron provided
a safe and stable surface for his
"The concrete makes loading
and unloading much easier," he
said. "It is a stable surface for the
forklifts, so there's much less wear
and tear on our equipment and it's
much safer for the passengers as
ENHANCED CAPABILITY: A 37SQN C-130 is refuelled on the all-weather
concrete runway at Multinational Base Tarin Kot in southern Afghanistan.
Inset, pilot FLTLT Mitch Beck and co-pilot FLTLT Jerome Appleby guide
their aircraft on to the runway. (Inset photo digitally altered).
Photos: LS Paul Berry
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