Combined Air Operations Component officials quickly organized a supply airdrop for US Army soldiers in Afghanistan facing an imminent attack by Taliban forces. The CAOC tapped a C-130 crew that had just flown its last sortie on a 30-day forward deployment and was preparing to depart Bagram AB, Afghanistan. The crew took less than an hour—instead of a usual two-three hours—to upload the eight tons of supplies and plan the mission. They had little combat airdrop experience, but the crew from Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, pulled off the impromptu mission, making the airdrop within eight seconds of the plan and within a few hundred feet of the target zone. (Read more here.)
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.