Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Military Space News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

First Joint Precision Airdrop A Success In Iraq Test

Staff Sgt. Dan Maslowski prepares to release a wind sonde sensor that provides weather analysis of drop zone winds while performing the first joint precision airdrop system mission Feb. 16 in support of Operation Iraq Freedom. JPADS is a new airdrop system used by C-130 aircrews to drop cargo at higher altitudes with improved accuracy. Sergeant Maslowski is assigned to 777 Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Cecilio M. Ricardo Jr.
by Staff Sgt. Carlos Diaz
US Central Command Air Forces
Balad Air Base, Iraq (AFNS) Feb 22, 2007
Iraq Eight aircrew members from the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing's 777th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron used the joint precision airdrop system for the first time over Iraq Feb. 16 to deliver six 1,200-pound bundles. The Air Force developed the software and the Army developed the steerable chutes. The JPADS includes a wind sonde sensor, which is a 12- to 15-inch tube-shaped, beige-colored device that weighs no more than three pounds.

The new JPADS has two components, according to Lt. Col. David Kuenzli, the 777th EAS commander.

The Air Force-developed software uses an advanced weather model to compute a very accurate release point in the air. The Army's chutes are steered by a global positioning system. When both components are combined, the airdrop can be delivered from high altitudes of up to 25,000 feet.

"This gives us the ability to have the same or better accuracy on the drop zone," Colonel Kuenzli said.

The colonel and his aircrew were ready to employ the JPADS.

"We want to be able to show that we have this capability, and we're going out to demonstrate that we can do this and keep the Army re-supplied," he said.

They were going to re-supply the ground troops with water and Meals, Ready to Eat.

The aircrew charged with this responsibility was deployed from the 463rd Airlift Wing at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark.

The eight-man crew consisted of Maj. Matthew Lewis, aircraft commander; Capt. Matthew Reece, pilot; 1st Lt. Matthew MacFarlane, co-pilot observer; Capt. Eric Fancher primary navigator; Capt. Kenny Bierman, instructor navigator; Tech. Sgt. Darrel Jackson, flight engineer; Tech. Sgt. Oliver Osborne, primary loadmaster; and Staff Sgt. Daniel Maslowski, secondary loadmaster.

After a highly-detailed intelligence briefing, the loadmasters departed to perform their mission preparation.

After their mission prep was complete, three aerial port members from the 332nd Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron loaded the bundles into the aircraft.

Once inside, a team of Army riggers began to secure and tighten the bundles with an incredible attention to detail.

"With this new system, we're using the technology in today's Army to keep everyone safe," said Warrant Officer David Bird, airdrop system technician assigned to the 368th Cargo Transportation Company.

Warrant Officer Bird detailed some of the advantages of the new JPADS.

"The recovery time is faster, the loads are easier to download, the airdrop is faster because of the high velocity of 70 to 90 feet per second, and it's low-cost, fast and safe."

The 13-year Soldier said his team's been practicing its entire career.

"We're a close-knit family," he said about his eight-member rigger crew. "To see something like this go through is worth it for us."

Once the joint airdrop inspector Senior Airman Andrew Strazzinski inspected the load for safety and correct rigging procedures, the C-130 was ready for takeoff.

The bundles were airdropped once the aircraft was positioned at a 7-degree-high nose drop angle. Using simple gravity, the bundles slid off and the huge parachutes immediately deployed.

"My job, as the primary loadmaster, was to make sure the load goes out as advertised," said Sergeant Osborne, who is a formal training unit instructor in the 714th Training Squadron at Little Rock AFB.

As a career field instructor, he stressed the importance of communication.

"We had an open line of communication," he emphasized. "Communication was the key because we listened to each other, backed each other up and kept two eyes on everything."

His young counterpart, 27-year-old Sergeant Maslowski, was anxious to complete his first combat airdrop using the new JPADS.

"My adrenaline was pumping the entire time," the redheaded loadmaster said. "It was exciting because I constantly kept doing more than one thing to stay ahead of the game.

"This for me has peaked all other deployments; I experienced first hand what we train for," he continued.

"Supporting the ground troops who really need these supplies is what it's all about," said Sergeant Osborne, an 18-year Air Force member.

Colonel Kuenzli was satisfied with the team's effort to successfully accomplish the airdrop mission.

"The entire teamwork from our maintenance team got this aircraft prepped and ready, and the aircrew members prepared for several weeks and studied hard to know and understand each other's jobs and roles," he said.

Once the aircrew returned with an empty cargo compartment, it was obvious that the mission was a success.

Sergeant Maslowski could not wipe the ear-to-ear grin off of his freckled face.

"This was so awesome, and I was ingrained in the moment," he said.

After a celebratory pose holding the American flag, the aircrew had a debrief session about the first combat airdrop over Iraq using the JPADS.

"We've paved the way for everyone else," Sergeant Osborne proudly exclaimed. They are assigned to the 50th and 61st Airlift squadrons.

Email This Article

Related Links
The latest in Military Technology for the 21st century at

Navy Awards Two Contracts For Airborne Low Frequency Sonar System
Tewksbury MA (SPX) Feb 22, 2007
Raytheon has been awarded a $50.8 million U.S. Navy contract for the Airborne Low Frequency Sonar system. Designated the AN/AQS-22, the system is the primary undersea warfare sensor for the U.S. Navy's MH-60R multi-mission helicopter. The company also received a subsequent $5.6 million contract for production sustaining support.

  • China Military Build-Up Out Of Keeping With Peaceful Aim
  • US On Charm Offensive To Avoid Clash With Russia
  • Putin Warns Against Flouting International Law For Own Interests
  • The Bear Roars From The East

  • US Aircraft Carrier Has No Plans To Intimidate Iran
  • British Military Police Storm Anti-Nuclear Protest Ship
  • Military Operations Outside Iraq Unacceptable
  • North Korea Talks Remain In Fog Of Hot Air

  • Rumsfeld's Missile Bungle
  • Pakistan Successfully Tests Nuclear-Capable Missile
  • Iran Launches War Games With Missile Tests
  • Putin Denies Passing Missile Technology To Iran

  • BMD Can Backfire On Europe
  • Putin Pledges To Strengthen Russia's Defense Potential
  • Missile Defenses In Europe Would Shield Against Iran, Not Russia
  • Russian Missile Forces Lower Quantity But Higher Quality

  • Can UABC Take Russian Aircraft-Makers Out Of Spin
  • Superjet To Be Tested For Strength
  • Anger As Britons Face Air Tax Hike
  • Bats In Flight Reveal Unexpected Aerodynamics

  • Killerbee UAV Flies At Camp Pendleton
  • UAV Tested For US Border Security
  • Iran Claims New Stealth Drone That Can Attack US Gulf Fleet
  • Boeing ScanEagle Team Achieves Compliance With NATO UAV Interoperability Standard

  • Trouble In The Garden Of Eden
  • Iraqi Police In Militias
  • General Discusses Chlorine Bombs, Helicopter Shoot-downs
  • Iraq Surge Strategy Slammed

  • Navy Awards Two Contracts For Airborne Low Frequency Sonar System
  • First Joint Precision Airdrop A Success In Iraq Test
  • Pentagon Calls Off Plans For Huge Explosion In Desert
  • Lockheed Martin Compact Kinetic Energy Missile Successful In Final Flight Test

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement