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Hurlburt Mission Sneak Peak
When troops are deployed on missions, they need a lot of stuff. And folks here at Hurlburt are training the ones who will get it to them."
Ammunition, food, water, shelter. Troops in the field need supplies, and often, they're in places where they can't be reached by ground. So, how do you get them what they need? Well, you fly an airplane over them, and throw it out the back. Of course, it's not quite that simple; that's where Hurlburt's First Special Operations Logistics Readiness Squadron, Terminal Operations Center comes in.
Sean Gorten, an airmen in the groupm, told us "Our objective is to get the air commandos to the fight, boots on the ground, equipment, cargo, whatever needs to get there, as fast as possible, as efficiently as possible, and as effectively as possible."
First, the Hurlburt crew packs the gear. For training purposes, they simulate loads with crates that represent small supplies, like tanks of water, or large pallets that represent larger loads, like vehicles. They attach the correct size parachutes to the load, some as large as 65 feet across, and make sure everything is ready to fly, and drop. Then, the aircrews, who come from around the country to train, take over.
Staff Sargeant Nathaniel Verzani said "They have to tie the attachments to the aircraft a certain way, and they have to be dropped at certain altitudes and certain speeds for them to drop safely."
It's critical the crews know how to load the gear safely for flight, but also how to drop on small targets while flying at high or low altitudes at high speed, as troops engaged in firefights often need to get those supplies without coming out of hiding.
Nathaniel Verzani told us "It means that our troops down range in hot zones, in spots that we cannot land aircraft, that they can get the supplies that they need to continue the fight, or to survive."
The goal of the training here, is to get what's needed, where it's needed, as soon as it's needed.