Laughlin airfield lighting modernization complete

  • Published
  • By Captain Christine Del Aguila
  • 47th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

The 47th Civil Engineer Squadron held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Airfield Lighting Vault project Aug. 18, 2023. The upgrades ensure the flightline is safe, well-lit, and effective for training the next generation of combat ready Airmen. 

“Through our local partnership and advocacy commitment from the City of Del Rio, Val Verde County, we were able to secure $2.5 million to accomplish this project,” said Lt Col John Casey, the 47 Civil Engineer Squadron Commander.  

The project replaced the old 1960’s era constant-current regulators. 

“It’s well known that Laughlin is a remote and isolated location, and it’s not lost on us the support that you all were able to provide and resources you were able to capture for us,” said Casey, during his remarks at the ceremony.  

Val Verde County and City of Del Rio civic leaders in attendance included Judge Lewis Owens, County Engineer Carlos Velarde, County Commissioner Precinct 1, Martin Wardlaw, Del Rio Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Blanca Larsen, and Texas Military Preparedness Commissioner Shannalea Taylor. 

“Thank you all for your outstanding support to get to the finish line with this project,” said Casey, an electrical engineer by trade.  

The Texas Military Preparedness Commission and Defense Economic Assistance Adjustment Grant (DEAAG) Program helped upgrade the museum quality components that controlled the entirety of the airfield.  

“What was impressive from an engineering standpoint is our current construction economic market, even though the project grant was $2.5 million, we came in under budget which was no small feat,” said Casey.   

The project cost just over $2 million. 

“This project secures a sustainable future for our airfield,” said Col Kevin Davidson, 47th Flying Training Wing Commander. “Working with our Val Verde County and City of Del Rio community partners is crucial for upgrading outdated infrastructure here on Laughlin, improving the quality of life for our Airmen and thus the local population.” 

This project falls under Laughlin AFB’s operational line of effort to deliver modernized, world-class facilities in support of Undergraduate Pilot Training and future T-7A operations.