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News > Deployed C-17s deliver millionth ton of cargo to U.S. Central Command
 
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10 Globemaster IIIs fly in formation over Washington state
A forward-deployed C-17 Globemaster III, like the one pictured in this file photo, and its crew hit a major milestone by delivering the millionth ton of Theater Direct Delivery cargo to U.S. Central Command Oct. 21. The aircraft and crew, assigned to the 817th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, delivered the cargo to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, which included priority unit equipment and supplies for troops supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Abner Guzman)
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Deployed C-17s deliver millionth ton of cargo to U.S. Central Command

Posted 11/22/2010   Updated 11/22/2010 Email story   Print story

    


by Capt. Justin Brockhoff
618th Air and Space Operations Center Public Affairs


11/22/2010 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- A forward-deployed C-17 Globemaster III and its crew hit a major milestone in October by delivering the millionth ton of Theater Direct Delivery cargo to U.S. Central Command.

The aircraft and crew, assigned to the 817th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, delivered the cargo to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Oct. 21. The cargo load included priority unit equipment and supplies for troops supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

The C-17 crew, deployed from the 437th Airlift Wing at Joint Base Charleston, S.C., included Capt. Brandon Brown, aircraft commander; Capt. Asa Judd, co-pilot; and loadmasters Master Sgt. Troy Firzlaff and Tech. Sgt. James Lucas.

"This is a major accomplishment for the C-17 community and Theater Direct Delivery," said Lt. Col. Doug Edwards, chief of the 618th AOC's TDD division. "The TDD concept started in 2005, just after Iraq's first democratic elections, and it has been operating at an unparalleled pace ever since."

Theater Direct Delivery C-17s are forward-deployed in the U.S. Central Command area-of-responsibility to fly airlift and airdrop missions throughout Iraq and Afghanistan, according to AMC officials. However, unlike deployed tactical airlifters such as the C-130 'Hercules', the TDD C-17 missions are planned, tasked, and command and controlled by Air Mobility Command through Eighteenth Air Force and the 618th Air and Space Operations Center, at Scott Air Force Base, Ill.

In addition to the C-17s, TDD relies on AMC commercial partners to fly a portion of the missions through Iraq and Afghanistan.

"The TDD system gives us the flexibility to add additional C-17s into CENTCOM when airlift requirements are high, and to move those forces around when we need to support other global operations," said Colonel Edwards. "For example, when the U.S. started sending relief to people displaced by the floods into Pakistan this summer, TDD C-17s were among the first aircraft on the ground, delivering 263,000 meals to people in need."

Over the past quarter alone, TDD missions moved an average of 1,800 passengers and 550 tons of cargo daily. Those numbers include a major role in deploying 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, ordered by President Barack Obama Dec. 1, 2009, and the delivery of thousands of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All-Terrain Vehicles, which are proven life-savers against improvised explosive devices.

"The deployed teams out here are true professionals who make a difference in Iraq and Afghanistan every day," added Lt. Col. Rebecca Sonkiss, commander of the 817th EAS. "The millionth ton of cargo delivered is an important mark for us, and we look forward to continuing our part to support the troops on the ground with our airlift and airdrop operations."



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