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317th Airlift Group participates in LCLA exercise
Tech. Sgt. Lee Deaver, 39th Airlift Squadron, secures a low-cost-low-altitude bundle for takeoff during a training exercise Feb. 7, 2013, at Fort Hood, Texas. The LCLA airdrops are a special container delivery system, designed to be used and discarded rather than turned in and reused. This method saves the receiver trouble, and the low altitude helps with accuracy and staying under the radar of the enemy. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kylsee Wisseman/Released)
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317th AG participates in LCLA exercise

Posted 2/22/2013   Updated 2/22/2013 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Kylsee Wisseman
7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

2/22/2013 - DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Dyess Airmen from the 317th Airlift Group conducted low-cost low-altitude airdrop training during a joint exercise with the Army Feb. 7 at a Fort Hood, Texas, training range.

LCLA airdrops are a special container delivery system designed to be used and discarded rather than salvaged and repackaged, and can be delivered much lower than standard cargo keeping the crew safe from enemy radar.

"Airdrops are critical for unit sustainment in theater and crucial for deployment planning," said Army Col. Mark Simerly, 4th Sustainment Brigade commander. "Success on the ground and drops on time and on target are dependent on positive communication and coordination between aircrews and the personnel on ground."

Training conducted between the Army and the Air Force is possible due to the partnership developed by Fort Hood and Dyess back in 2009, when Dyess became the hub for testing and training LCLA airdrops.

"The airdrop training is key to joint partnerships between Dyess and Fort Hood," said Air Force Capt. Jeffrey Gilmore, Air Mobility liaison officer. "Our training together shows that there is a maintained and great partnership between the Army and Air Force."

LCLA airdrop bundles are designed to weigh 80 to 500 pounds with pre-packed parachutes. The drops are termed low-cost reflecting the relative expense of the expendable parachutes compared to their more durable, but pricier nylon counterparts. Low-altitude alludes to the relative height from which bundles are released from the aircraft.

"Moving troops and commodities is difficult by land in certain parts of the world," said Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Anthony Cunningham, 4th Sustainment Brigade. "Airdrops alleviate a lot of the stress that comes with logistical convoys such as soldier safety. Drops take less time, assets and manpower to get supplies to soldiers."

The impact LCLA has had on the airdrop community goes far beyond what can be measured in dollars. The partnership between Dyess and Fort Hood will continue to train soldiers on the ground and the 317th Airmen in the skies for airdrops needed in the future.

"I have gained a great appreciation for the coordination and cooperation between Fort Hood and Dyess Air Force Base for the training they are able to do between the aircrews and the drop zone ground crews," said Army Col. Robert Whittle Jr., 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. "The airdrops are vital for resupply and logistical movements in future overseas operations."

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