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    Air Contingent Performs Airdrop Exchange

    Air Contingent Performs Airdrop Exchange

    Photo By Capt. Mark Lazane | A low-cost, low-altitude bundle floats to the designated drop zone location in front...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Mark Lazane 

    Pacific Air Forces

    BRIGADIER GENERAL BENITO N EBUEN AIR BASE, LAPU-LAPU CITY, Philippines—Members of the 18th Air Expeditionary Squadron exchanged airdrop best practices with their Philippine Air Force counterparts here as part of U.S. Pacific Command’s Air Contingent last week.

    The focus of the exchange was low-cost, low-altitude airdrops, one of the signature tactical airlift skills for members of Yokota Air Base’s 374th Airlift Wing.
    LCLA bundle drops are the preferred airdrop method for most of the Pacific because it allows for rapid identification of an unknown drop zone and allows for recoverable drops into water and ground DZs, a constant need in the island-dotted Pacific where many of the world’s natural disasters take place.

    LCLA airdrops are also beneficial to partner nations due to its low cost and ease of facilitation, as it involves used personnel parachutes and store-bought lumber.
    Not every partner nation gets a chance to routinely practice airdrop capabilities, however.

    “Due to limited equipment, we are often only able to practice live airdrops for special events and exercises,” said Philippine Air Force Staff Sgt. Claudio Toledo, Jr., a C-130 loadmaster. “I am grateful for this exchange of best practices with our partners from the United States. Even though we do airdrops here, it is always good to speak to our partners and discuss new things and new equipment.”

    Members of Team Yokota enthusiastically provided such an opportunity as they participated in an airdrop information exchange with their PAF counterparts.
    During the exchange, PAF personnel were able to handle the bundles and ask subject matter experts detailed questions regarding their application.

    “(The PAF members) fly C-130s just like we do, so that helped exchange knowledge between our two countries,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Adam Boyd, a C-130 Hercules aircraft commander deployed to the 18th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron from the 36th Airlift Squadron, 374th Airlift Wing, Yokota Air Base, Japan. “They do things a little different than we do and we were able to give our perspective on how we do low-level flying and air drops. I think it’s a good sharing of knowledge between countries with similar aircraft.”

    The PAF members were then invited to fly with members of the 18th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron to communicate best practices in dropping LCLA bundles to water DZs.

    “It feels great to see you’ve definitely had an impact, that you’ve actually discussed different techniques of LCLA with another PAF crew chief or loadmaster,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Gary Coe, a C-130 H loadmaster also deployed to the 18th EAS from Yokota Air Base, Japan. “It was great to show how we do LCLA and if they can pass along the experience they had to other loadmasters to show them, it would be a win-win for both countries. I definitely enjoyed having the PAF loadmaster and crew chief in the back; it was a great experience.”

    The Air Contingent is helping to build the capacity of the Philippine Air Force and increase joint training, promote interoperability and provide greater and more transparent air and maritime situational awareness to ensure safety for military and civilian activities in international waters and airspace. Its missions include air and maritime domain awareness, personnel recovery, combating piracy, and assuring access to the air and maritime domains in accordance with international law.

    “These exchanges benefit the Philippines because it they were to decide to begin an LCLA program, they could use it to resupply their islands in case of a typhoon or other natural disaster,” said Boyd. “We’ve had a really good exchange over the past two weeks. We’ve really enjoyed flying with them and hope to continue the partnership we have today into the future.”

    The deployment of the air contingent detachment is another example of how the United States and the Philippines are committed to maintaining credible combat power throughout the Indo-Asia Pacific region while the U.S. continues to work closely with the Philippines and our network of partner nations.



    Date Taken: 10.05.2016
    Date Posted: 10.13.2016 14:29
    Story ID: 211860
    Location: PH

    Web Views: 115
    Downloads: 0