The Air Dropping Revolution


05/10/2011 In this video, one sees a C130 Hercules from the 774 Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan drops 8 bundles of water to support ground troops in Afghanistan.

The revolution in air dropping allows US forces to go virtually anywhere and received kit and supplies via precision air dropping.  This is a strategic and tactical capability that will surely inform future insertion of military forces, whether they be in the support of the projection of power from the sea or from the air.

As Lieutenant General Robert Allardice, Commander, 18th Air Force, Scott Air Force Base, put it in an interview with the Tanker Airlift Control Center (TACC) with SLD:

Right now we’re, I would say, sir, in the longest sustained airdrop in history, since 2005, we’ve been airdropping virtually every day.  We’ve doubled or tripled our load every year since then.  Last year we dropped about 60 million pounds of supplies.  This year we’ll exceed 100 million.  The interesting thing is to see the revolution or I’d say it’s more the leaps in the technology of not just the delivery but the rigging and the – – our understanding of collateral damage, et cetera.  We understand that when you’re dropping a pallet today in a place that if that pallet goes off the drop zone or if – – even if it’s on the drop zone, if it kills somebody that’s no different than if a bomb killed somebody, so we’ve had to really focus on that.  So I think there’s been a tremendous revolution or improvement in our airdrop rigging, accuracy and then when you get into the Joint Precision Airdrop System, the JPAS, that’s even higher.

Credit: U.S. Air Forces Central Public Affairs;  4/11/11