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Typhoon Mawar Relief

Airmen prepare to deploy arch 3 and 4 following training provided by Trac9 personnel.

Pictured above are the prepositioned ADAMS, which had been kept in storage for two years, being utilized to save the day after a devastating typhoon on the island of Guam. Although the scene looks like a futuristic base camp on the moon, these innovative structures are useful in many capacities, and are being seen popping up all over the United States.

A Team consisting of two Trac9 members arrived short notice to train and assemble the original prototypes developed under a COMPACAF innovation seed money initiative in 2020. This was the first time the ADAMS was able to showcase its value as a prepositioned asset. Although it had been kept in non-climate-controlled storage for two years, the systems components looked as new as the day they were delivered and stored away. 15 Airmen with no prior knowledge of the system, or what was even hiding within the containers, arrived to receive training on assembly techniques. With a quick overview and background on the system, an assembly video was shown and the Trac9 and Air Force members were in full stride building the capability. With as little as a thirty-minute pep talk, the airmen were prepared to begin setting up the structures. As Airmen begin to see the shelters come to life, several commented that “they looked like they were meant for space”. Most were astounded that something seemingly so technical was assembled by a team with zero experience, in such a short amount of time. In less than three hours, the team of novices had completed one structure in its entirety.

Three ADAMS are shown amongst debris that was cleared out of the way for the assembly operations.

Typhoon Mawar was one of the strongest Northern Hemisphere tropical cyclones on record. It slammed into the small island in the month of May 2023. It became a Category 5 super typhoon and passed over Andersen AFB, Guam as a category 4 typhoon. This made it the strongest storm to make a direct hit on Guam since Typhoon Pongsona in 2002. U.S. President Joe Biden declared Guam a major disaster area on May 27th enabling distribution of federal funds.

In June, following damage assessments to the main base infrastructure on the installation, it was evident additional space was going to be needed. High winds caused damage to roofs and flooded the inside of many homes and base facilities. Power outages and lack of HVAC caused further damage over the span of 3-5 weeks as mold and mildew set in. More than 800 military families were displaced as their homes were deemed uninhabitable. Space not traditionally set aside for residents was utilized to provide shelter for families. This naturally meant the day-to-day mission needed to be relocated and shifted to other available spaces. Desperate to find solutions to the housing and working facilities crisis, leadership at Andersen AFB Guam decided the best solution would be to put the ADAMS to the test.

Mission Accomplished as ADAMS are bed-down and ready for use near Andersen AFB historic tower

The ADAMS had been previously designed and put into production for exactly the type of crisis that Guam was encountering. You could certainly expect the same sort of carnage and damage to facilities following an adversarial attack against the island. Tropical winds and heavy rain typically prevent fabric-based structures from being a suitable long-term option for island operations. The ADAMS was designed with Agile Combat Employment as the basis for all developmental design decisions. With an increased wind load it can survive tropical storm conditions. Trac9 is very proud to be a major contributor to finding solutions, comfort, and healing to the devastated island by providing a way to continue the base’s mission, aid in providing more space for displaced families, and provide a climate-controlled center for operations during base reconstruction. These Trac9 shelters installed to support the 36th MXG Aircraft Maintenance Operations will be in place for years to come as damage is repaired to the permanent base infrastructure. The ADAMS can then be placed back into storage until they are needed again.

Each 600-square-foot shelter is housed within an ISU-90 with its decking, HVAC, and fly sheet systems. The system features extendable arches and can be made longer or shorter depending on mission demands. It is a rigid Kevlar-based system capable of withstanding hits from tropical storms or blast debris. Wind protection alone is not sufficient when debris is being hurled at the walls of a structure. Trac9 provides not only wind protection, but also rigid protection from these types of unpredictable windblown hazards. The system has removable end walls to accommodate equipment and resources that may require the full volume of space provided within the shelter. The shelter can also be installed over top of equipment by simply positioning the arches over items that require protection from the elements. The versatility of the system allows it to be used for any mission that is currently being conducted inside of a fabric structure or a containerized mobile maintenance facility. However, it does not include the same limiting factors associated with both traditional options, such as their inability to be enlarged to accommodate bigger projects. The ADAMS is a hybrid capability able to adapt into anything you need.