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 As part of 772nd EAS, the 815th broke the monthly aerial delivery record with 51 drops
 The 815th and 345th AS became the first total force integration C-130J unit in the Air Force in August 2010
 
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Deployed total force C-130 unit shatters airdrop record
Tech. Sgt. Josh Romero inputs the weight of oncoming cargo Feb. 2, 2011, at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. During the month of January, the 772nd Expeditionary Airlift Squadron broke a record by completing 51 airdrop missions and dropping more than 1.1 million pounds of supplies during a one-month period. Sergeant Romero is a loadmaster assigned to the 772nd EAS. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Willard E. Grande II/Released)
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Deployed Total Force Unit Set Records in Afghanistan

Posted 2/13/2011   Updated 2/16/2011 Email story   Print story

    


by Senior Airman Tabitha Dupas
403rd Wing Public Affairs


2/13/2011 - KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, MISS. -- The 815th Airlift Squadron has broken many records while deployed and continues to do so as part of the 772nd Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, a total force integrated unit, Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan.

The previous record for the 772nd EAS was 40 airdrops in one month. It was broken Jan. 28 and by the end of the month they reached 51drops through the collaborative efforts of the 815th, 345th, and 41st Airlift Squadrons.

"It feels good to be setting records, but what you'll find with most of the guys here is that it doesn't matter if you break a record, it matters that you complete the mission and get the supplies where they need to go so we can help those guys on the ground," said Lt. Col. Walt Ord, pilot from the 815th AS and 772nd aircraft commander who led the crew that made the 41st drop.

A load with 20 bundles of water, meals ready-to-eat, and fuel was the record setting drop. These drops are supporting troops working out of forward operating bases.

In addition to successfully completing 51 airdrops weighing more than 1.1 million pounds, the 772nd EAS also moved close to 4,000 passengers and flew more than 420 sorties with approximately 400 flight hours during the month of January.

While the Army only expects 90 percent recovery of airdropped supplies in this particular location, the accuracy of the 772nd EAS has boosted the percentage to 99, according to Lt. Col. Frank Poukner, 815th AS.

The 815th and 345th AS joined together in August 2010 as the first C-130J total force integrated unit of the Air Force.

"The total force integration has helped both squadrons in that the active duty tends to be a little younger and they can learn from the experience of the 815th (AS)," said Colonel Poukner. "At the same time, the 345th (AS) has new guys coming in and are bringing fresh ideas from other squadrons. They also can fill bodies on deployments lifting some of the burden of missions off of the 815th (AS)."

They are deployed in Kandahar with the 41st AS from Little Rock Air Force Base to make up the 772nd, established in March 2009. Their mission is to supply troops in locations where delivering supplies is both dangerous and difficult by means other than airdrop.

"Our guys are working hard," said Colonel Poukner. "Everyone has the can-do attitude toward doing what has to be done to get the mission accomplished. It is all due to the teamwork of everyone involved from maintenance to loadmasters to pilots."

(Editor's note: Senior Airmen Melissa B. White contributed to this story.)





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