Offutt Air Force Base celebrates reopened runway

The U.S. Armed Forces ushered in a new era Friday with the opening of the new $144 million runway at Offutt Air Force base.
Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 4:18 PM CDT
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SARPY COUNTY, Neb. (WOWT) - Offutt Air Force Base is back open for business.

A ceremony took place Friday for the reopening of Offutt’s runway.

The main runway needed to be replaced, even before flood waters ravaged one-third of the runway in March 2019.

The Pentagon had done a review in 2018 and the project valued at $168.9 million got funding in 2020.

The work took about 18 months, during which time all the big planes were moved down to Lincoln.

After some training flights, it's now back to full operation.

Friday afternoon the first plane landed again at Offutt.

Eighteen months after shutting down for an overhaul of the main Offutt runway built in 1941, 55th Wing Commander Col. Kristen Thompson brought her TC 135 Warhawk 01 home on newly named runway 13-31.

A crowd including military and political dignitaries, as well as the families of the some 750 Air Force and other personnel who’ve been temporarily working out of Lincoln were wowed.

“And I said, Offutt is a cold war veteran and we needed to be that same veteran today for similar reasons,” said Gen. Mark Kelly, the Commander of Air Combat Command. “Russians invading their neighbors and making threats Chinese aggression Pacific Offutt’s facilities and Offutt’s geography, the 55th Wing STRATCOM mission in the airman who watch over a nation are more important than ever”