535th AS makes BIG Island drop

A C-17 Globemaster III, assigned to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, flies above the Pohakuloa Training Area during Big Island Drop Week, on Hilo, Hawaii Nov. 7.

Story and photos by Tech. Sgt. Heather Redman

15th Wing Public Affairs

The 535th Airlift Squadron trained on delivering cargo to Pohakuloa Training Area on Hawaii Island, from Nov. 6-8.

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

A container delivery system drops from a C-17 Globemaster III.

“Big Island Drop Week enables air-crews 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.”

Capt. Derek Demyanek, 15th Operations Support Squadron executive officer, prepares for takeoff.

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

Senior Airman Trenton Turner, 535th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, sits on the ramp of a C-17 Globemaster III.

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.

Senior Airman Trenton Turner, 535th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, guides a container delivery system onto a C-17 Globemaster III.

“We are constantly training,” West said. “Our aircrews have weekly airdrop training, however the training on the Big Island 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.

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Category: Life & Leisure