The combined efforts of Air Force and Navy aircraft had delivered more than one million pounds of relief supplies to Georgia as of Aug. 22. US European Command officials noted that USAF C-17s and C-130s and Navy C-9, C-130, and C-40 aircraft had flown the humanitarian missions and that US Navy ships were on the way with more. (USAF C-17s delivered the first loads.) According to an 86th Airlift Wing release, US soldiers pack supplies from a US State Department stock in Germany and deliver them to Ramstein Air Base, where airmen load them aboard C-130s for the seven-hour flight to Tbilisi International Airport. At the airport, USAF airmen and Georgians work to offload the supplies. And, on the ground in Tbilisi is a team from Ramstein’s 1st Combat Communications Squadron, providing comm support for the airlift crews and the US Embassy. (Ramstein report by Capt. Erin Dorrance; AFPS report)
Reports of production troubles on the SpaceX rocket that could contend for military cargo deliveries happened to coincide with a different company’s concept receiving an early nod—one that might not require a rocket at all.