FORT MOORE, Ga. – Fort Moore Directorate of Public Works leaders recently began construction at Lawson Army Airfield to replace outdated airfield lighting with new lighting and navigational aids aimed at enhancing safety and improving efficiency.
“Lawson Army Airfield is one of the most critical airfields in (Training and Doctrine Command) and across the Army due to its strategic role as a power projection platform for all three Army components," stated Col. Colin Mahle, Fort Moore garrison commander. “Modernization efforts to this facility are critical to supporting the Army’s strategic requirements for mobilization and deployment in a Multi-Domain Operations environment.”
Mahle said, “This project is part of a larger strategic concept that supports Lawson Army Airfield 2035 and encompasses over 60 projects to modernize airfield infrastructure over the next decade.”
The historic airfield was constructed prior to 1931 as a balloon landing field for the Infantry School. Over more than 90 years since its inception, it has been upgraded and expanded several times to accommodate then-current usage demands.
“Over time,” said Frederick Wolf, chief of engineering for DPW, “conditions of facilities change, standards and missions change, and we want to ensure the airfield remains ready and safe for Soldiers so they can focus on performing the mission.”
Airfield lights are used to light up airport runways during the night or in situations of low visibility, enabling safe navigation under such conditions.
"We are replacing airfield lighting and signage, runway edge lighting, runway threshold lighting, light bases, and precision approach path indicators," said Amy Vaughn, resident engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District, which supports the installation. She added that the $11.4 million USACE designed and managed project also includes upgrading medium voltage cabling and replacing electrical systems along with current airfield lighting infrastructure.
Seth Newton, an electrical engineer from USACE, said the airfield lighting currently under construction is energy-efficient and expected to be complete in the fall.
“Exchanging fluorescent signs with LED signs will save approximately 50 percent power consumption. The runway lighting is required to be incandescent per Army and Air Force regulations,” Newton said. “We are currently replacing the runway edge lights with fixtures that are approximately 10 percent more efficient and greatly improve the reliability and safety for air traffic and ground maintenance crews.”
The lighting project is one of several initiatives planned over the next several years for the facility. Other projects include repair and improvement of taxiways, renovation of various buildings, and road and parking replacement and expansion.