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Airmen drop much-needed supplies to Soldiers, Marines

by Staff Sgt. Shanda De Anda
379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

8/25/2005 - BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan (AFPN) -- Airmen from the 745th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron traveled to the eastern region of Afghanistan on Aug. 23 to resupply Soldiers and Marines who are helping Afghanistan prepare for elections Sept. 18.

The mission, which included the delivery of more than 39,000 pounds of cargo, is just one of numerous deliveries made throughout Afghanistan.

The C-130’s capabilities to handle rough terrain and dirt strips make it uniquely qualified for this type of mission. These assets led to the decision to have the C-130 aircraft and crews from the 745th EAS relocate here.

“While here, we remain on … standby for (Soldiers), Marines and (Afghan forces) … ensuring the success of this country’s upcoming free elections,” said Maj. Jay Brawka, 745th EAS aircraft commander and deployed mission commander.

The crew, which deployed here Aug. 10, has flown supply missions since their arrival. Having a crew closer to areas that require the need of C-130 cargo drops provides a quick reaction force to make sure those needing supplies have it.

“We’re the long-haul truckers of the sky,” said Maj. Clayne Bradley, a 745th EAS navigator. “We get the stuff there so people can use it.”

“The airlift community understands the importance of ensuring the beans, butter and bullets make it to the troops in the field on time, every time,” said Maj. John Boccieri, 745th EAS pilot and tactics officer. “The Air Force, Army and Marines jointly plan these airdrops and utilize the high-altitude airdrop capabilities.”

Airlift operations are increasingly essential as Afghan forces gradually become self sufficient in maintaining the safety and security of the region.

“The (Afghan forces) have demonstrated their abilities with great success,” said Marine Lt. Col. James Donnellan, commanding officer of 2nd Battalion 3rd Marine Regiment. “The willingness and professionalism of the (Afghan forces) to engage the enemy will ensure success for the security of Afghanistan.”

For continued success, getting supplies to the field is critical.

"Making these missions a reality relies on the joint efforts of the Afghanistan National Army forces, (Soldiers and Marines) and many other players,” Major Brawka said.

Those involved in the missions include Airmen at the operations center, the control tower, intelligence troops, aircrew, maintainers and Army parachute riggers.

The duration of the mission here is dependent on the need in the field. But regardless of how long they are here, the joint, combined and coalition forces are committed to making it a success, officials said.

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