Planes going to S.D., Guam during runway repairs

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE While repairs and improvements of Minot Air Force Base’s runway are completed, some of the base’s B-52s temporarily will be at Ellsworth AFB at Rapid City, S.D., base officials said.

Originally, the planes were to go to Barksdale AFB in Louisiana, but that plan was changed.

Other Minot AFB planes will be going to Guam with the 69th Bomb Squadron that is deploying there for six months. If the runway is not completed by the time the deployment ends, those planes will be going to Ellsworth until the base runway has been finished, according to base officials.

The deployment to Guam is for an ongoing military effort to provide a continuous bomber presence in the Western Pacific. The continuous bomber presence of U.S. Air Force bombers in the Western Pacific has been ongoing since March 2004..

The center section of the Minot AFB runway, an approximately $32.8 million project, is being completed this year and is the final portion of a three-year runway project. The Department of Defense contract for this year’s runway repairs and improvements was awarded to Sundt Construction, a Tempe, Ariz., company.

In fiscal year 2012, work was done on the west end of the runway and in fiscal year 2013, the east end was done. The total runway project carries an approximately $67 million price tag.

The runway improvements are scheduled for completion in early October.