An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Florida Guard engineers modernize Navy airfield

  • Published
  • By Tech Sgt. Chelsea Smith
  • 202nd RED HORSE

JACKSONVILLE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, FL -- Airmen of the 202nd Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineer, known as the RED HORSE, are modernizing the airfield ramp at Naval Air Station Jacksonville to ensure taxiway concrete can withstand the weight of the U.S. Navy’s P-8A Poseidon aircraft.

The airfield, in its current condition, will significantly decay under the weight of the 138,000-pound aircraft which is flown by seven squadrons belonging to the Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing Eleven at NAS Jacksonville.

Airmen broke ground Jan. 30 and removed about eight tons of concrete in preparation for the use of high-density concrete, known as 650 Flex Concrete. The concrete mixture is made for high-capacity reserve load-carrying and has greater resistance to degradation by fuel spillage, oil drippings, jet health and blast, said Master Sgt. Timothy Jackson, 202nd RED HORSE project manager.

The team, comprised of 202nd RHS airfield pavement and construction engineers, are replacing four areas of existing 12 by 15 square feet concrete slabs on the airfield ramp. The new slabs are approximately 12 by 15 square feet and 15-inches thick but use 5,000 pounds-per-square-inch (PSI) concrete which allows the slabs to support the weight of the new P-8 aircraft which are heavier than their predecessors.

“We’re here to deliver the Navy a good product,” said Jackson. “It’s heavy construction but on a lower scale for the tempo so we’re able to get some training done as well. It’s a win-win for both parties.”

Airmen of the 202nd RHS train annually to remain ready for these types of engineering and construction projects. The units are designed to provide the Air Force with a highly mobile and rapidly deployable civil engineering response force capable of independently responding to contingency and special operations in remote, high-threat environments worldwide.

The airfield repairs are scheduled to conclude by the end of February 2023.