52 CES Installs Expeditionary Airfield Lighting System on Spangdahlem AB Airfield

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Max J. Daigle
  • 52nd Fighter Wing

The 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron operations flight’s electrical systems section installed an Expeditionary Airfield Lighting System (EALS-C) on the airfield here, November 20-21, 2023.

The EALS-C is a rapidly installed, contingency runway lighting system providing critical visual guidance to pilots operating on or in the airspace of the airfield during nighttime and periods of low visibility. The installation of the EALS-C marked a milestone for the Air Force, as it was the first time the specific system has ever been installed on a permanent base for use in normal operations, according to Lt. Col. Greg Ward, 52 CES commander.

The EALS-C was installed in response to a power outage affecting the base’s permanent airfield lighting. The system was delivered to the base from War Reserve Material (WRM) storage and installed by 52 CES Electrical Systems specialists. The specialists worked in shifts to install the EALS-C and were able to complete installation in time for the airfield to re-open for low-visibility operations within 72 hours of the initial outage.  

Lighting infrastructure included in the EALS installation consisted of runway approach indicator lights and Precision Approach Path Indicators (PAPIs) to guide landing aircraft, Distance To Go (DTG) indicator illuminators for pilots to see the distance to the end of the runway threshold, and runway and taxiway boundary lighting.

“Our Airmen Engineers and Saber team have absolutely crushed their rapid response to this emergency outage,” said Lt. Col. Ward. “Their ‘Can Do, Will Do, Have Done’ attitude demonstrates the proud lineage of the Air Force Civil Engineer community and postures Saber Nation with the capability and capacity to accomplish our critical flying mission support the European Theater and beyond.”