News: Pennsylvania native deploys, keeps ground troops supplied from sky
Story by Staff Sgt. Sara Keller
SOUTHWEST ASIA – Senior Airman Seth Dunsworth, a C-17 Globemaster III loadmaster from the 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, recently deployed to an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia from the 15th Airlift Squadron, Joint Base Charleston, S.C.
Dunsworth, a native of Du Bois, Pa., deployed to the 816th EAS and joined a group of airmen ranging in specialties from loadmasters, to navigators to pilots. These airmen are what keeps this highly functional squadron operating.
They work as a team flying thousands of miles to perform an array of missions around their assigned area of responsibility. Equipped with C-17 aircraft, the 817th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron transport and support coalition forces engaging in combat operations as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. They also operate in the Horn of Africa.
The squadron’s mission is to provide strategic airlift, airdrop, aeromedical evacuation and humanitarian relief, and to create an air bridge for personnel, equipment and supplies throughout the area of responsibility.
Dunsworth and members of his team fly missions several times a week, but some of them like certain parts of the mission more than others.
“[My favorite part of this deployment] is doing airdrops,” said Dunsworth. “You can actually see how you are contributing to deployed units on the ground, helping sustain their forward operating bases and getting them essential products like water and fuel.”
As a loadmaster, Dunsworth said he actually feels like he’s contributing to the war effort.
“By delivering supplies, whether via cargo, by air-land missions or airdrop,” he continued. “It’s great to see people get the much needed supplies.”
During an airdrop mission, food and fuel is loaded onto a plane and then dropped from the back of the aircraft over remote forward operating bases in the area of responsibility. The supplies are packaged into separate pallets and adorned with a parachute. As the pallet falls from the aircraft, the parachute is released and able to land safely in its projected location. Once on the ground, coalition forces will recover the supplies.
This is Dunsworth’s second deployment and he has been serving in the U.S. Air Force for more than three years.