Aug. 30 (UPI) — Airmen and soldiers strengthened their parachute drop skill sets last week in a joint mission known as Exercise Predictable Iron at Pope Field, N.C.
Airmen of the 62nd Airlift Wing participated in a joint exercise with the 82nd Airborne Division, practicing parachute drops of personnel and equipment from two C-17 Globemaster III aircraft manned by crews from the 7th and 8th Airlift Squadrons. Over 1,000 Army paratroopers were involved.
The collaboration of the Air Force and the Army was on display at two drop zones of Pope Field, and the scale of the drop was unprecedented, officials said.
“It is crucial that the Air Force and Army work well together because without each other the mission fails,” said Capt. Jared Barkemeyer, aircraft commander for one of the C-17s. “Without the reliable transport the Air Force provides, the Army could not execute their objectives in a timely manner via airdrop. The airdrop insertion at a mass scale is something no other nation in the world can provide.”
Barkemeyer called the exercise a total success.
It was also a test of a new Army method for dropping bundles of supplies from planes. The caster-assisted A-series Delivery System, or CAADS, was used to drop “door bundles” of supplies by parachute.
“It’s pretty much a door bundle on wheels,” said Maj. Brian Plover. “It’s a new thing, every jump we push out a CAADS. It holds supplies that are needed immediately, such as water, food or ammo.”
During the three-day exercise, 40 tons of equipment, including armored vehicles and re-supply containers, were dropped by parachute, as well as 1,005 paratroopers.