MARTINSBURG, W.Va. --
A comprehensive airfield lighting modernization project was completed December 2022 at Shepherd Field, Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport.
The 167th Airlift Wing of the West Virginia National Guard and the Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport Authority partnered to secure the approvals and funding needed through a total of five grants to overhaul aging lighting systems on the airfield; and establish an assault landing zone for military pilot training.
Work began on the $3.5 million contract last January to install light emitting diode (LED) taxiway and runway edge lights, landing zone lights, precision approach path indicator lights, assault landing zone markings and lights, and all associated controls, cables and conduit.
“The upgrades to the airfield’s runway and taxiway lighting system are a huge benefit to civilian pilots and to the 167th AW” said Nic Deihl, EWVRAA Executive Director. “The project was a unique joint effort between the Airport Authority and the 167th to provide the new LED lighting system. Additional visual aids were included in the upgrades to provide more precise accuracy and safety for night and inclement weather aircraft operations. We could not have done it without the cooperative effort of the 167th.”
A Military Construction Cooperative Agreement was implemented which authorized military and civilian construction requirements to be combined on one contract. MCCA’s are required for Air National Guard construction projects that are accomplished on land that is not owned by the U.S. Air Force. While the 167th Civil Engineers manage multiple construction contracts at any given time, MCAA’s are not common.
“This was a unique project for us; it’s the first time our current team has entered into an MCAA,” said Maj. Blake Bennett, 167th Deputy Base Civil Engineer. “We have a phenomenal relationship with EWVRAA. We were able to seamlessly integrate our construction requirements with theirs and we were on the same page through the entire project.”
With the new assault landing zone, 167th pilots can practice short field take-offs and landings, simulating contingency operation conditions locally, which maximizes training time and minimizes additional costs.