Aerial Delivery in Afghanistan
The CDS leaving the C130. (WN09-0025-04)
5 January 2009
With winter rapidly approaching in Bamyan, and the regular scheduled air and road resupply routes often closed due to bad weather, the National Support Element (NSE) in Bagram has started looking at alternative methods of delivering supplies to the Bamyan province.
The NZ Provincial Reconstruction Team (NZ PRT) identified that a long hot summer, which resulted in low crop returns, then the sudden onset of winter, has raised the potential for a humanitarian crisis – i.e a lack of food and fuel being available to the local population.
If the winter is long and harsh, the need for the delivery of large amounts of food and supplies is a distinct possibility and one that the PRT may well have to assist with.
With this in mind, we were keen to ascertain if an air drop would prove, in extreme circumstances at least, to be a viable method of support and supply.
A request for an aerial delivery of two one tonne containers (CDS) of 100 boxes of ready made meals (MREs) plus some Bagram goodies was submitted.
From an already busy airlift wing, air assets were made available for the drop, supplies were sourced and rigged in Bagram, and within a week of the initial request the drop went ahead.
While the weather was poor, the drop was successful, with both CDS landing undamaged. The result of this drop is that the NSE and PRT have shown we can get emergency supplies to support the PRT and forward patrol bases as well as providing life-saving humanitarian aid if requested to by aid agencies.
[article supplied by By A/WO2 Leslie Baker]
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