Dropping In After a Long Pause

On Feb. 27, C-130s from the 317th Airlift Group at Dyess AFB, Tex., conducted airborne training on the grounds of Ft. Hood, Tex., for the first time in more than 10 years. “We’re excited to conduct joint airdrop and air-land operations with our Army brethren at Ft. Hood,” said Col. Bernard Mater, 317th AG commander. Up to this point, he said, such training opportunities have been rare. But with them, aircrews and ground units on rotation either to Afghanistan or Iraq will be able to familiarize themselves with the procedures for requesting and delivering airborne supply—which has already proven to be lifesaving in combat there. “Late last year, a 39th Airlift Squadron aircrew [from Dyess] airdropped crucial resupply to troops in contact in Afghanistan,” Mater said. “Despite night, poor weather, and taking fire from the Taliban, the aircrew safely and precisely delivered the needed supplies.” (Ft. Hood report by Army Cpl. John D. Ortiz)