Air Transportation: February 4, 2003

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The U.S. Air Force has come up with a new version of its TRIADS (Tri-Wall Aerial Delivery System) technique for air dropped food missions. In 1993, some air force special operations personnel in Bosnia developed the idea of weakening a corrugated box, holding food packets (MREs), and pushing it out of a C-17 transport. The weakened corrugated box would disintegrate and the individual MREs would fall to the ground. Because of the flat nature of the MREs, they would sort of float down, so there was little danger of injuring anyone on the ground. The TRIADS approach was useful when you had very hungry people in a very out of the way location. TRIADS was used again in Afghanistan. The new TRIADS boxes can be used in both C-17s and C-130s and hold 410 food packets (each containing 2,200 calories of eats) versus 250 packets in the earlier version. Now a C-130 can deliver 6,800 food packets per sortie, versus 4,000 using the old TRIADS container.

 


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