Al Udeid AB drives largest sustainment airdrop in CENTCOM history

Airmen of the 746th and 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadrons conduct the largest sustainment airdrop in U.S. Central Command’s history, July 11, 2019. An airdrop is a delivery method used to provide vital supplies to service members in remote or combat locations. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

AL UDEID AB, Qatar (AFNS) — Airmen from the 746th and 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadrons conducted the largest sustainment airdrop in U.S. Central Command’s history July 10-11.

The drop delivered more than 166,000 pounds of food, supplies and fuel to U.S. and coalition forces throughout the region in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

“The troops on the ground in the drop zone are separated from the main operating base,” said Lt. Col. Andy Allen, 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron commander.

The airdrop sustains them with the supplies needed to live and perform the mission in these remote locations, Allen explained. Additionally, when supplies are delivered by air, it avoids hindering operations on the ground.

“[The crew] was so excited to be a part of history,” said Maj. Cathryn Yerage, 816th EAS operations officer. “Our team executed a flawless and successful airdrop.”

Al Udeid AB’s strategic location enables the delivery of approximately 4,000 tons of supplies to support OIR and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel on a monthly basis, bringing aeromedical evacuation support and cargo transportation capabilities to the region.

“Our personnel have trained for years to get to the airdrop qualification,” Allen said. “For them to be able to execute and know that they are making a direct impact…it was an outstanding opportunity and one that they won’t forget anytime soon.”

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