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Selah Airstrip re-opens at Yakima Training Center

Airstrip to be used for fixed-wing aviation for the first time since 2003

Two High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems are prepped for loading onto a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft prior to a rapid infiltration HI-RAIN exercise June 22, 2016, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Photo credit: Senior Airman Jacob Jimenez

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The Selah Airstrip at the Yakima Training Center (YTC) was re-opened to aircraft operations Nov. 15 at 11 a.m. The airstrip has not been used for fixed-wing aviation since 2003 due to pavement degradation. Renovation of the airstrip began in 2017.

YTC commemorated the airstrip re-opening with the inaugural landing of a 62nd Airlift Wing C-17 Globemaster III aircraft carrying a 17th Field Artillery Brigade High-Mobility Artillery Rocket (HIMARS) launcher, both from Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM).

The C-17 landed on the newly-renovated airstrip to demonstrate a joint HIMARS Rapid Infiltration (HIRAIN) forcible entry mission, the kind of training YTC can now handle. The HIMARS launcher offloaded from the C-17, fire several Reduced Range Practice Rockets (RRPR) into the YTC impact area, and loaded back onto the C-17 for takeoff.

Re-opening the airstrip to some of the U.S. Air Force's largest cargo planes will expand training opportunities at YTC for JBLM and military units throughout the Department of Defense.

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