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A USAF C-130J lands at the Hohenfels, Germany training area on July 29, 2015. The airlifter helped test the capabilities of the newly extended and resurfaced short takeoff landing strip at the training area, the only dirt airstrip in Germany capable of supporting large airlifters like the C-130J. US Army Photo by SSgt. Jerry Boffen.​​

​US military officials have reopened the dirt airstrip at Hohenfels, Germany, to C-130J operations for the first time in two years, with the completion of a series of recertification flights earlier this month, US Army officials announced. "This is the only dirt, or semi-prepared, landing zone in Germany," airfield manager MSgt. David Hough from Ramstein AB, Germany, said in a release. Pennsylvania Air National Guard civil engineers lengthened the airstrip back in June, and C-130Js from Ramstein's 86th Airlift Wing will begin using Hohenfels during Exercise Swift Response this month. "The intent is to have 42 landing sequences. This was an opportunity to touchdown before final execution," added exercise Capt. Planner Matthew Pride. The C-130s plan to drop some 1,400 US and NATO paratroopers within four hours during the exercise's simulated crisis response scenario. The three validation landings on July 29 marked the first time i​n two years C-130s have operated from Hohenfels.