Pinpoint Practice

A C-130J Super Hercules assigned to the 317th Airlift Group at Dyess AFB, Tex., completed the unit’s first stateside training drop with the Global Positioning System-guided Joint Precision Airdrop System. “Before this, the first time most aircrews ever dropped JPADS was during combat,” said Lt. Col. Kenneth Gjone, 317th Operations Support Squadron boss. “The big deal about this effort is we are doing these airdrops as part of our local training,” he emphasized after the drop on Feb. 22. In conjunction with steerable cargo parachutes, JPADS crews use a computer and GPS signals to guide air-dropped pallets with pinpoint accuracy from as high as 25,000 feet. From those altitudes, “the aircraft can actually drop the load a good distance away from the drop zone, keeping aircrew safe,” noted Maj. Justin Brumley, a 317th OSS crewman. “Up until this past deployment, I had no actual experience dropping,” he added. (Dyess report by A1C Charles Rivezzo)