According to a report just released from Bagram AB, Afghanistan, last month USAF C-130 Hercules airlifters deployed to the 774th Expeditionary Squadron delivered about one million pounds of supplies to forward-deployed forces and humanitarian aid to villagers in Afghanistan. The February total surpassed January’s deliveries by about 40 percent and has broken a record set last September. Air Force officials say the extraordinarily harsh winter has driven up the amount of supplies needed to be airdropped. Helping to make this airdrop surge possible were soldiers of the US Army’s 11th Quartermaster Rigger Detachment, whose 21 members can rig 50 container delivery systems with more than 100,000 pounds of supplies per day over a period of 12 days, said CWO Joe DeCosta, airdrop system technician and detachment commander. And, Air Force MSgt. Mike Pierson, an airdrop inspector deployed from the Delaware Air National Guard’s 142nd Airlift Squadron, said, “The only way for this to work is when the Army and Air Force work together.” (Bagram report by Capt. Toni Tones)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.