Afghan Air Force C-208 crew conducts first emergency combat airdrop

7 June 2018 (Last Updated June 7th, 2018 11:26)

The Afghan Air Force’s C-208 aircraft crew has successfully carried out its first emergency combat airdrop mission.

Afghan Air Force C-208 crew conducts first emergency combat airdrop
An Afghan Air Force C-208 prepares for take-off with almost 1,000lb of ammunition. Credit: US Air Force / Capt Brian Barnette.

The Afghan Air Force’s C-208 aircraft crew has successfully carried out its first emergency combat airdrop mission.

The airdrop mission involved providing ammunition to the Afghan National Police and citizens fighting the Taliban in Badakshan province, Afghanistan.

Within six hours of being notified, the airforce successfully carried out mission planning, prepared about 1,000lb of ammunition for delivery and successfully dropped the supplies for use.

The emergency combat airdrop demonstrates the ability of the Afghan Air Force to immediately respond to emergent requests and provide necessary supplies to support the Afghan National Army, police, and citizens in their fight.

“Now when our soldiers are faced with any kind of problem, especially lack of ammunition, we are ready to support them.”

Afghan Air Force loadmaster 1st lieutenant Froton said: “In the past, we didn’t have anything to support the soldiers.

“Now when our soldiers are faced with any kind of problem, especially lack of ammunition, we are ready to support them.”

The loadmasters who prepared the ammunition for the current mission are said to be experts in mission planning, bundle fundamentals, parachute rigging and airdrop mission instruction.

538th Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron commander lieutenant colonel Erik Johnson said: “It has been remarkable to see the progress of the C-208 and C-130 Afghan aircrew members.

“This combat airdrop is a prime example of what these loadmasters are capable of. They proved that they can get supplies wherever it needs to go quickly and effectively without coalition assistance.”

In October 2016, the airforce began training on airdrop capabilities under the guidance of Train, Advise and Assist Command-Air advisors.

In July, the Afghan Air Force carried out their first mission airdrops. Since then airdrops have been mainly performed to support the ground forces for resupplying ammunition, food and water.