The “Triple 7” Hits Another Milestone

Sept. 3 was a significant day for the 777th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron as the C-130 unit completed its 25,000th combat sortie since beginning operations at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, in February 2006. “Getting convoys off the road is our job,” said Capt. Fray Doyle, co-pilot for the historic mission. “That’s why we’re here.” In fact, since its arrival at Balad 31 months ago, the squadron—USAF’s only mobility unit within Iraq—has carried approximately 210,000 passengers and more than 98 million pounds of cargo, thereby eliminating the need for more than 11,000 convoy vehicles. Doyle asserted that when air transport officials need “to get something moved from one place in Iraq to another, they call the Triple 7 because they know our track record.” It was just last month that the unit hit the 200,000th passenger mark. (Balad report by SSgt. Don Branum)