Air Drop

Strategy page brings us this blurb about supplying outposts in Afghanistan via air-drop.

Traditionally, resupply by airdrop is one of the least desirable methods.  The cost, pound per mile, is exorbitant compared to, say, a truck, or even a helicopter.  In addition, there’s other jobs the C-130s could be doing.

But think about this. One of the major risks to our troops in Afghanistan is the roadside bomb. If you aren’t driving supplies everywhere, you are less likely to be losing troops, not to mention the supplies and trucks lost as well.

Consider a notional platoon out in the middle of Nowhere, Afghanistan. While the platoon is going to need to be initially established by overland transport, once it is in place, resupply really only needs to be water, fuel, food and ammo and repair parts..  Water and fuel are bulky,but can still be airdropped.  But food, ammo and repair parts are all well suited for air drop.

Here’s an Air Force C-17 making a delivery.


3 thoughts on “Air Drop”

  1. I’ve often wondered why we haven’t copied the Russians and utilize a “lunar landing” type of rocket firing under-side pkg to soften impact forces on large loads. Anyone?

  2. Large airdrop loads use a collapsible honeycomb of cardboard underneath to absorb some of the impact energy. All in all, it’s safer and cheaper than any retro-rocket system.

    Also, you know the AF, how sensitive they are about any ammo or pyrotechnics on board aircraft. Having to certify any system, then add training to the riggers and loadmasters is just too big a hassle.

    Having said that, I’m pretty sure I recall hearing about a test of a retrorocket system for heavy drops some time back in the old days, but I’m too lazy to look.

  3. The Royal Navy’s Department of Miscillaneaous Weapons Development worked on the problem back in WWII, but the solution eluded them until after D Day, and then it was shelved.

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