Successful first SAC materiel airdrop at Gyulafirátót range in Hungary

29 January 2014

During a recent training mission, one of NATO’s C-17 Globemasters from the Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW) conducted a successful airdrop of sustainment materiel.

The HAW, the multinational operational arm of the Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC), performed this mission on 22 January at the Gyulafirátót training range near the town of Veszprém in Hungary, approximately 50 kilometers from SAC’s home base at Pápa.

This was the first time the HAW had performed a materiel airdrop in its host nation. SAC C-17s have previously performed several personnel airdrop missions from Pápa Air Base, but had to travel outside Hungary to conduct materiel airdrop training.  “By working closely with the Hungarian Defense Forces and US Air Force Europe, SAC can now use the Gyulafirátót range to train all categories of C-17 airdrop, personnel and materiel, day and night. The proximity and flexibility of this range allow HAW aircrews to train more effectively and efficiently, increase aircraft and aircrew availability for real-world missions, enhance proficiency while reducing training costs for the SAC, and show the potential for other cooperative opportunities between Hungary and her allies”, according to Mr Brent Deen, the NAM Weapon Systems Manager.

During this training mission, two cargo pallets were released from the rear ramp of the C-17 at an altitude of approximately 520 meters (1700 ft). The pallets used for training are part of the Container Delivery System (CDS) used for delivering sustainment items such as food, water and medical supplies to remote locations where landing is not possible. The pallets were delivered successfully to the target area, which showed again that SAC is a new, successful, cost-effective way of producing and sharing defense capabilities within Europe.