Airdrops Reach New Heights

Airdrop poundage in Afghanistan has nearly doubled each year since 2006, according to Air Forces Central. In 2010, USAF aircraft dropped a record-shattering 60.4 million pounds of material to forward areas in Afghanistan, compared to 32.2 million pounds in 2009. The remote deployment of forces and lack of extensive infrastructure in Afghanistan have driven the high demand for aerial provisioning and resupply from the war’s opening days. Last year’s surge of an additional 30,000 US troops has pushed that demand higher still. “These airdrops are critical to sustaining ground forces at austere locations where other means of resupply aren’t feasible,” stated Col. David Almand, who served as air mobility director in the combined air and space operations center in Southwest Asia in 2010. The airdrop amounts are (in millions of pounds): 3.5 in 2006, 8.12 in 2007, 16.57 in 2008, 32.2 in 2009, and 60.4 in 2010. (Scott report by MSgt. Scott T. Sturkol)