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C-17 Cargo Aircraft Breaks Airdrop Record

American Forces Press Service

SOUTHWEST ASIA, March 20, 2006 – A single U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III transport jet set a record by airdropping 32,400 pounds of humanitarian aid within 40 minutes to four locations in central and eastern Afghanistan March 16.

Airdrop missions involve delivering cargo without landing the airplane.

This airdrop marked the most cargo dropped to this many drop zones in the shortest amount of time from a single aircraft in the history of U.S. airdrop operations, said Air Force Lt. Col. Charles Ciuzio, chief of the Air Mobility Division at the Combined Air Operations Center. It is the policy of U.S. Central Command Air Forces Forward to not reveal the center's location.

The record-breaking C-17 and accompanying aircrew are deployed to the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing from McChord Air Force Base, Wash.

The mission delivered 24 bundles of supplies to Afghans in need. The supplies included winter survival gear, tools, school supplies, food and blankets. This relief adds to the more than 2.2 million pounds of humanitarian aid provided for the people of Afghanistan since October 2004, officials said.

"This mission definitely proves the flexibility of our airpower," said Air Force Maj. Gabriel Greiss, chief of Air Mobility Division tactics at the CAOC. "By getting so much done so quickly, we are undoubtedly optimizing the use of our air assets to help as much as we can."

Some 6 million people in Afghanistan and 1.5 million Afghan refugees depend on international relief programs for survival, according to White House reports.

(From a U.S. Central Command Air Forces Forward news release.)

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C-17 Globemaster III

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