C-130 Day
Written by Nathan Gallahan   
Tuesday, 09 March 2010 20:45

Bagram Air Field | Day 30 – In honor of our project saviors I’m dedicating, what was supposed to be my last blog, to the aircrew of the U.S. Air Force C-130 who picked us up today. I didn’t have a business card handy when I was on the aircraft, so they may never even see this, but they are awesome.

Everything started off peachy keen as Ken and I got all packed up and ready to fly out to Kabul. We check in, throw our baggage in the appropriate area and wait patiently in the terminal for some time. Then tragedy struck, the air terminal man pointed at me and said “Gallahan, you not going.” Major Sabula was there with us and immediately asked about Ken and the man said “Raimondi, you not going.” Then he walked away.

I hope Ken will never tattle on me for the sheer quantities of

profanity that erupted from my face for the next 10 minutes. Ken and Major Sabula both ran off to work their magic while I pouted to myself alone in the terminal with nothing much to do but wait for word and watch the weapons. Major Sabula found some high ranking officer who physically walked out to the original aircraft to talk with the aircrew while Ken went and talked with some Americans. The original flight was booked with way to many passengers and it wasn’t possible to fly in that one, but the U.S. Air Force C-130 had plenty of room and instead of just saying “Sorry guys, it’s too late, we’re loading in five minutes,” the senior airman handled the situation, got all of the paperwork taken care of and threw us on the aircraft in a matter of minutes.

I told one of the guys he’s lucky I hadn’t had my energy drink for the morning or I would be hugging and kissing him right about now. Sometimes my branch of service just grates on me and then days like today I look at those young Airmen and appreciate just how smart, intelligent and nice they are and I just beam with pride. Most of us may not be in the ditches taking direct fire and living in holes, but without the Air Forces of the world, this counter insurgency would be extremely hard and a lot more dangerous.

I covered close air support earlier in the month. Originally I had planned to talk about everything Air Force but it turned out to be way more than one blog can handle. Since Ken and I have now dedicated March 9th as “30 Days Through Afghanistan C-130s Are Awesome Even If A Little Uncomfortable Day, ” I want to tell you about the backbone of counter insurgency.

Big and fat, C-130s and all of the other heavy lifters fly around Afghanistan with seemingly unimportant boxes of uninteresting things. They fly over here and drop off some people, then they fly over there and dump off some boxes, then on special days they dump out more boxes while flying above places where they can’t land. Aircrews aren’t necessarily excited about each and every mission, but what may seem normal to them is absolutely critical to those receiving the goods.

Take PRT Chagcharan for example. It’s a little camp on the outskirts of a city in western Afghanistan. There are seven or eight nations represented by a few hundred military and civilian personnel. The roads to this PRT are horrendous and they can’t be efficiently reached. In comes the heavy lifters and they supply all of those people with everything they need to survive. Without heavy lifters, PRT Chagcharan couldn’t exist and large populations of Afghans couldn’t be assisted.

There are also routes in Afghanistan that used to be driven, but are now too dangerous. In come the heavy lifters, instead of driving on IED infested roads, service members hop a flight with everything they need and all of their cargo and swoosh off to their destination. Yes, sometimes they get delayed… for days, but they arrive none-the-less.

Some may believe the lives of heavy lifters aren’t as exciting or glamorous as a fighter pilots, but they haven’t been in a C-17 flying through a small valley utilizing advanced terrain following computer programs that scare the living something out of you because your wingtips seems to be pine tree lawnmowers.

For as aggravating as air travel around Afghanistan can be, I know it’s not any one person’s fault. It’s just the way it is here and sometimes that’s uncontrollable. Regardless, heavy lifters are the backbone of counter insurgency. Without them, ISAF’s mission would fail, and without our C-130 savior today, so would ours.

	Day 29	Home 	Day 31
Comments (5)add comment

ritagirls said:

This is a Good writing, wow, it is wonderful,I'm interested in these right,Thank you for talking about this topic, I have benefited a lot from and also expect you to update your work!!!
December 28, 2010
Votes: +0

ricola said:

if this is in fact day 30, then whats with the countdown still showing over 4 days left?

34 days in Afghanistan FTW!
March 10, 2010
Votes: +1

Linda Carter said:

Is This "A Wrap?"
May be a silly question... but since this is day 30... is it "A Wrap?" Is there to be any follow up, or is this it? If "This is It" then I want to say, Woohoo... GREAT JOB and Thanks!!!
March 10, 2010
Votes: +1

Linda Carter said:

Let's Give It to Our "Fly Boys." (and girls of couse)
Hey Nate, we have so much to be proud of in our US Air Force. There are so many functions that the Air Force performs all across globe, daily to keep our country and others safe. And as you mentioned they perform many functions that often seem routine; but, the routine in their duties is what keeps our air space safe and the incredible transport functions possible and moving. Many do not realize all the functions our USAF performs... it's absolutely amazing. Getting supplies to the warzones is a most critical task, and everything would be a mess if the Air Force did not do, the outstanding job it does to keep the movement of supplies, personnel, and equipment flowing somewhat smoothly. Glad you took the time out to acknowledge their great contributions. My dearest friend was a USAF Officer for 22+ years with AWACS. Of course it's a well known fact that many of you guys tend to be some of the most techno savvy, brainy-acks, in our Armed Forces. Love our "Fly Boys and Girls." You and Ken have represented your branch and the ISAF honorably in this venture. Sometimes in this journey, it has been easy to forget that you, too, are service personnel members of our Coalition Forces, serving in the warzones--as we get use to viewing you in your media and journalist professions. Thank you for your vision, implementation, and dedication to this project and allowing so many to be such an interactive part of it. But most of all, THANK YOU both for YOUR SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY!!!
March 10, 2010
Votes: +1

dennis said:

Could not agree more.What with the C-5 to git in and out, and C-130-J to move in an around. And Bagram is huge.
March 10, 2010
Votes: +0

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