NEWS | Nov. 15, 2018

Big Island Drop Week

By Tech. Sgt. Heather Redman 15th Wing Public Affairs

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- The 535th Airlift Squadron trained on delivering cargo to Pohakuloa Training Area on Hilo, from Nov. 6-8.

Big Island Drop Week is a quarterly training event conducted on the island of Hilo. The training event allowed aircrews to conduct mission planning and airdrop training in an environment that is not available on island of Oahu.

“Big Island Drop Week enables aircrews to conduct airdrops in an austere terrain from a high pressure altitude environment,” said Maj. Gabriel West, 535th Airlift Squadron assistant director of operations. “For this event, our aircrews had to plan and employ aerial delivery systems in an unfamiliar training setting to prepare them for different environments they could face.”

The 535th AS uses the C-17 Globemaster III, the most flexible cargo aircraft in the airlift force, to conduct its mission of global airlift, airdrop, and aeromedical evacuation operations.

Through precision airdrops the 535th AS can deliver supplies, equipment and personnel from 30,000 feet in the air. During the event, the aircrews released container delivery system bundles to simulate dropping supplies to personnel on the ground.

“We are constantly training,” said West. “Our aircrews have weekly airdrop training, however the training on Hilo is an opportunity we don’t get often.”
The training helps prepare the 15th Wing to meet future operational needs and accomplish the mission of employing combat power across the Indo-Pacific.