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Little Rock Airmen facilitate airdrops for frontlines

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. --

Maj. Timothy Lang, an operations officer deployed from the 61st Airlift Squadron, plans and performs combat airdrop missions for the 386th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron in Southwest Asia in support of Combined Joint Task Force -- Operations Inherent Resolve.

The 386th Air Expeditionary Wing delivered more than 80 tons of food, water and other critical supplies to various supported forces throughout the U.S. Air Force Central Command’s area of responsibility.

Their objective was to resupply warfighters and sustain ground operations in the fight against the Islamic State.

“We aim for first pass success. One pass, one drop,” said Maj. Josh Linden, 386th EOSS chief of tactics while describing the 386th AEW’s airdrop mission. 

When secure runways are not available for aircraft to land, the C-130 provides essential combat airdrops to ground troops without inherent risk.

Little Rock Air Force Base is home to Combat Airlift and is responsible for training all pilots and aircrew on how to operate the C-130. From pipeline training to real-world missions, Team Little Rock is able to rapidly deploy Airmen and aircraft into the heart of contingency operations in hostile areas of Southwest Asia, South America and the Horn of Africa.

“It’s a challenging mission, but any C-130 crew member would raise their hand and jump at the opportunity to execute a combat airdrop,” Lang said. “As the 386th EOSS operations officer, I can tell you, our squadron brings a team effort from numerous players who are behind the scenes, but still play a pivotal role in a mission’s success.”

The 19th Airlift Wing flying squadrons work in tandem with tactics, intelligence and weather Airmen in advance of a drop to plan and prepare aircrew for possible scenarios.

The various operational and support entities combine their efforts to ensure safe and effective mission execution with first pass success.

“When we are called upon to provide rapid global mobility, we deliver unrivaled Combat Airlift,” said Lt. Col. Angela Ochoa, 61st AS commander. “While at home, we train to execute our mission across the globe and I have full confidence in our Airmen to provide airlift support anywhere, anytime.”