Qataris Sharpen AirDrop Skills

Qataris Sharpen AirDrop Skills

UNIPATH STAFF 

Before a crowd of dignitaries that included Qatari Minister of Defense Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah, Qatari troops showed off a newfound proficiency in airdropping battlefield supplies from C-17 and C-130 military aircraft.

The May 2018 demonstration was the culmination of four weeks of training between Qatari Army and Air Force personnel and U.S. and Italian partners. The training focused on proper ways to assemble bundles and affix parachutes so that troops on the ground can receive vital supplies such as weapons, fuel and food.

To show off their skills, Qatari airdrop systems technicians, known as “riggers,” worked at Al Udeid Air Base to prepare more than 100 55-gallon metal drums filled with water to mimic airdropping fuel. 

“The Qatari riggers came over, watched us rig and helped us rig the bundles to get them training and proficiency,” said Chief Warrant Officer Shane Hicks, commander of the U.S. Army 824th Qu artermaster Company. “My guys jointly inspected the load and helped them push it on the aircraft to get it ready to go.”

Under a tent in the desert, Qatari Ministry of Defense officials, together with U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, air component commander for U.S. Central Command, watched 40 bundles drop from a C-17 and 20 bundles from two C-130s.

The observers showed their appreciation for the successful display. One of the Qatari military’s priorities is to become self-sufficient in airdropping supplies from C-17s to enable troops to conduct extended missions. 

“I think it was a successful airdrop,” Hicks said. “There were no malfunctions in any parachutes, and all the commodities would have arrived on the ground safely to support the warfighter.” 

Source: U.S. Army

Qatari and U.S. forces airdrop 40 bundles during a demonstration. 

STAFF SGT. CHARLOTTE REAVIS/U.S.ARMY