A more than $3 million runway renovation project at Grissom Air Reserve Base in Miami County is complete. The improvements, which include expansion joints designed to keep the pavement from buckling, forced many of the 434th Air Refueling Wing's planes to temporarily relocate to Ohio. July 16, 2014

News Release

GRISSOM AIR RESERVE BASE, Ind. – Grissom's runway re-opened at 7:30 a.m. July 16, and it didn't take long for the unit's jets to start making their way home.

The first KC-135R Stratotankers began arriving at 10:30 a.m. following relocation to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio on June 1 for a $3.2 million project that added expansion joints in the runway.

“Thanks to the hard work of the entire construction team the runway project was completed on time,” said Col. Doug Schwartz, 434th Air Refueling Wing commander. “We are extremely excited to welcome our KC-135s back to Grissom as we resume normal operations.”

While the unit's tankers were heading home, another aircraft arrived earlier for a temporary visit.

The first aircraft to use the newly renovated runway was a Boeing 757 arriving for painting at a local business.

Even though a commercial aircraft touched down first, the majority of flights scheduled were those belonging to the 434th ARW and returning from their temporary home.

In all, 15 KC-135Rs departed the base during the construction. However one of the Stratotankers stayed behind to undergo a scheduled inspection and refurbishment.

“Many thanks to our friends at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio from the 88 Air Base Wing and the 445th Airlift Wing for their tremendous support that enabled us to continue our air refueling mission,” said Schwartz.

The 434th Air Refueling Wing is the largest KC-135 unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. Airmen and aircraft from the 434th ARW routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission and U.S. strategic objectives.

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Source: The 434th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs Office

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