Master Sgt. Chris Ringland stands with Staff Sgt. Talon Martin as they prepare for an airdrop July 1, 2010, over Afghanistan. Sergeant Ringland is with the 438th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group and Sergeant Martin is with the 538th Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron. (U.S. Navy photo/Petty Officer 2nd Class David Quillen)
by Petty Officer 2nd Class Dave Quillen
438th Air Expeditionary Wing
7/8/2010 - KABUL, Afghanistan (AFNS) -- In the sky over Kalat, Afghanistan, a C-27 Spartan crew member opened the bay door and two men stepped forward. They surveyed the target zone and with a well-practiced motion pushed the cargo out the back of the plane. Two seconds later the chute opened and the cargo descended under control to the ground. The mission was a success.
"This will be our first, full on, no playing around airdrop," said Lt. Col. James Piel, the 538th Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron commander, prior to the mission. "We've spent awhile working up to this and today should go pretty smooth and maybe even be a little bit exciting."
Colonel Piel, who piloted the C-27 during the airdrop is one of the American advisers to the Afghan pilots, had a few concerns regarding the weather, as high winds were predicted and would've prevented the mission for a second time. Fortunately, the weather held and didn't seem to have any significant impact on the mission.
This drop was a final check of the aircraft's capabilities to perform these missions.
"The C-27 is a capable aircraft which meets the necessities of the missions here in Afghanistan," Colonel Piel said. "The Afghan crews and pilots are learning these capabilities and gaining confidence in the plane. When we fully turn over control of these planes, they will be completely able to use these aircraft as intended and use them to perform the wide range of mission sets necessitated by the Afghan government."
This mission adds to the overall ability of the Afghan air force to assist in the war and promote the agenda of the Afghan government.