Elmendorf Airmen complete airdrop using 3-D weather technology

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Christopher Gross
  • 3rd Wing Public Affairs
Airmen from Elmendorf Air Force Base completed the first improved container delivery system drop using new 3-D weather technology March 19 over Tin City, Alaska.

The new system allows for better drop precision, factors in the altitude, wind speed, wind direction, terrain and other circumstances that might affect the drop.

"We've done ICDS drops in the last year but not as accurate as the drop we did Friday," said Maj. William Friar, the 353rd Combat Training Squadron instructor aircraft commander.

The major said for the past three months his unit has been working with the Air Force Weather Agency at Offutt AFB, Neb., to make their computer programming compatible with the 3-D weather files.

"It's been an ongoing process for the past three months," Major Friar said.

The crew was able to drop their containers about a mile out of the zone and it landed within 135 yards of their target after being dropped from an altitude of 5,100 feet.

Major Friar said he was happy with how the drop went and that this was one of his most memorable flights during his Air Force career, mainly because of all the hard work and planning that went into this drop.

The major said that this was also beneficial combat training because of the remote location of these cities. The reason location Tin City was chosen was because it was determined that these could be some of the harder places to land a aircraft during harsh weather circumstances.

So, if an aircraft can't land for a couple of weeks and one of these radar sites need to be resupplied, the only option left is for an airdrop.

Major Friar compared this to a combat situation in which they may need to resupply a dangerous remote area. In that case they need to get in and out as fast as possible with delivering an accurate drop.

"It's the perfect location because in Afghanistan we simulate units there in a remote location all the time doing it in the fashion would most likely be used in combat situations," said Capt. Dennis Nita, assigned to the 3rd Operations Support Squadron.

The group plans to make this a monthly exercise, so they can continue to improve their ICDS drops to the most difficult to reach places in Alaska.