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Fairchild's Tankers Return: The tires of two KC-135s left the first marks on a pristine 2.5 mile runway, which was just finished at Fairchild AFB, Wash. Crews with the 92nd Air Refueling Wing tested the new surface during their Nov. 2 return flight to Fairchild—the first since the 11-month project began. The $43.6 million runway, which was completed ahead of schedule but over budget, was raised 12 inches over the previous surface to improve drainage.  Civil engineers narrowed the strip from 200 feet to 150 feet to match standard USAF parameters, recycling some 60,000 tons of concrete in the process. "Thanks to AECOM construction contractors, the runway project was completed before its original deadline," said Wayne Musselwhite, 92nd Civil Engineer Squadron construction chief. Fairchild's tankers and a total of 1,342 personnel temporarily operated from nearby Spokane International Airport and Grant County International Airports during construction. (Fairchild report by A1C. Earlandez Young)