Heavy Month on the Airbridge

Air Force mobility crews moved about 2.5 million pounds of Army cargo in and out of Afghanistan in about a month of operations, the Air Force announced. Six aircrews deployed from Dover AFB, Del., and Travis AFB, Calif., flew three C-5Ms between Afghanistan and Rota Naval Station, Spain, to load equipment on and off Navy ships as part of the retrograde from Afghanistan. The aircrews also provided assistance to a deploying Army brigade. The operation, known as Rota Stage, ran from Dec. 6, 2015, to Jan. 2, according to an 18th Air Force release. The aircrews flew 82 sorties, deploying helicopters for the 4th Infantry Division’s 4th Combat Aviation Brigade to Afghanistan, while redeploying choppers for the 101st Airborne Division’s 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, according to the release. “It was a bit like a puzzle, trying to get all the pieces together,” said Maj. Aaron Suire, a pilot with the 9th Airlift Squadron. “It definitely was a big operation, a lot of moving parts.”