November 29, 2012: You can tell how combat operations are changing in Afghanistan by simply looking at the trend in the use of air drops. In 2007, 3,700 tons were dropped by parachute. That rose to 34,500 tons in 2011, and then fell sharply to 16,800 tons this year. The cause was the reduction in troops to put far out in hostile territory, as well as more areas cleared of Taliban and bandits, thus allowing for the use of trucks to supply outposts.
In the last year U.S. troops strength in Afghanistan has declined from 100,000 to 66,000 and will go down to about 10,000 in two years. The use of GPS parachutes will continue as a safe way to supply troops way out in the bush.