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Army, Air Force Riggers Team for Afghan Food Mission

By Master Sgt. Sue Harper, USA
National Guard Bureau

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany, Oct. 9, 2001 – Some Afghans have food today thanks in part to the efforts of roughly 66 soldiers and airmen.

Forty-six members of the 5th Quartermaster Company, 191st Ordnance Battalion, 29th Support Group, 21st Theater Support Command, and 20 members of the 37th Airlift Squadron Air Delivery Flight spent four days building new airdrop container delivery systems and packing them with Humanitarian Daily Rations.

Even though the rations were dropped into Afghanistan early Oct. 8, the airmen began working on the Tri-wall Air Delivery -- TRIAD -- system crates Sept. 30-31. The Army quartermasters joined the airmen Oct. 4.

The two groups spent nearly all day Oct. 6 filling two cavernous C-17 Globemaster III jet transports with approximately 35,000 ration packs, according to Army Capt. Jason Soriano, quartermaster company commander.

Working with the airmen is nothing new for the soldiers. "We work with these guys every day," Soriano said.

What was new for all was TRIAD, said Air Force Master Sgt. Samer Alkhoury, the flight's superintendent. The new delivery system uses reinforced cardboard boxes that slide out the transport's rear ramp by gravity. A static line is used to remove box bottom and top, which allows the roughly 410 ration packets inside to fall to the ground individually. The system uses no parachutes.

(Army Master Sgt. Sue Harper is assigned to the 21st Theater Support Command Public Affairs Office, Kaiserslautern, Germany.)

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Click photo for screen-resolution imageParachute rigger Staff Sgt. David C. Clark of the 5th Quartermaster Company, 191st Ordnance Battalion, 29th Support Group, 21st Theater Support Command unpacks a box of Humanitarian Daily Rations at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. Pfc. Zachary R. Tyson, also a rigger in the same unit, breaks down the empty boxes. The riggers were just two of almost 50 unit members who worked the weekend of Oct. 6, 2001, to load the rations, destined for air drops over Afghanistan Oct. 8. Photo by Master Sgt. Sue Harper, USA.  
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageSoldiers and airmen filled Humanitarian Daily Rations into cardboard boxes that tear apart and disperse the yellow-plastic food packets once clear of the transport aircraft. The delivery system was used Oct. 8, 2001, to deliver some 37,000 rations to Afghan refugees. Photo by Master Sgt. Sue Harper, USA.  
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