$8.7M in Funds will Complete ‘Assault’ Runway at YARS

VIENNA, Ohio — $8.7 million in military construction funds including in the fiscal year 2022 omnibus federal budget will be used to complete infrastructure improvements to the paved “assault” runway at Youngstown Air Reserve Station.

The improvements will allow C-17 Globemaster III strategic airline aircraft, such as those assigned to the 911th Airlift Wing at the Pittsburgh Air Reserve Station, to use the runway to practice landing and taking off, according to a press release. These “short field” runways are similar to those often found in combat zones, according to the release.

“I’ve landed on all types of unimproved surfaces, such as dirt, gravel and more, in many places around the world. Typically, these types of runways are much shorter in length than a conventional runway,” Col. Jeff Van Dootingh, 910th Airlift Wing commander and YARS installation commander, said in the release. “You don’t want to try to land a cargo aircraft on a short runway for the first time in combat. Our counterparts, flying C-17s, have many of these same requirements and currently have to travel long distances to get their practice in.”

Currently, pilots assigned to C-17s have to fly at least to South Carolina to practice these required maneuvers to maintain their aircrew currency, according to the release.

“This new capability at YARS will save taxpayer dollars and valuable training time in the C-17 community. It will add to the military value of YARS by allowing us to become a regional training hub for Air Force C-17 units,” Van Dootingh said.

The 910th Airlift Wing will put the project out for bid and plans to host a groundbreaking to kick off construction of the project in the near future, the release states.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.