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After more than nine months of work and $12 million in funding, a U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules became the first aircraft to utilize a new apron at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti (CLDJ), Dec. 22, marking the beginning of operational missions on the apron known as 'Enduring Ramp'.
"Initially, Camp Lemonnier was built as an expeditionary base with expeditionary hardware," said Lt. j.g. John Woods, the air operations officer at CLDJ. "The opening of this concrete ramp confirms that Camp Lemonnier is transitioning into an enduring role, thus naming the ramp Enduring."
The apron is 219 meters by 126 meters and is designed to provide three parking spaces for C-130 Hercules aircraft as well as a parking pad for the CV-22 Osprey aircraft. Enduring Ramp will also support parking for aircraft as large as the C-17 Globemaster III and C-5 Galaxy.
"In order to support missions in the Commander, U.S. Forces Africa area of responsibility, air support is vital," said Woods. "Available ramp space didn't support transit aircraft needs, forcing them to park on the less secure commercial Ambouli Airport. The enduring ramp allows transit aircraft to park on the secure military side of airport."
Although many people assisted with the safe and timely construction of Enduring Ramp, the camp's Supervisory General Engineer, Lt. Cmdr. Robert Tetreault, feels the project was a success due to the hard work of the assistant resident officer in charge of construction, Lt. Raymond Jaszkowski.
"The completion of the project is directly attributable to Lt. Jaszkowski's leadership, engineering skill, and construction management experience," said Tetreault. "He oversaw the scheduling, work planning, and government contracts as well as provided technical direction to contractors."
While CLDJ has taken a big step toward improving its enduring air operations capabilities, the camp continues a massive full-length taxiway project that is slated to be completed early next year.
Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, provides, operates and sustains superior service to support regional and combatant command requirements; and enables operations in the Horn of Africa while fostering positive U.S.-African Nation relations.