Logistics: Air Freight Saves Lives

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August 9, 2006: Every year, the command, and most of the staff, of the U.S. logistical troops in Iraq are changed. When that change occurred last fall, the 3rd Corps Support Command decided to get more of the troops off the road. So the cargo moved by air, rather than by road, was increased 2.5 times, between last October and this Summer. This was accomplished by bringing in more C-130s and using more commercial air freight. The Support Command calculated that this has kept enough troops, and their trucks off the road, to reduce American casualties noticeably. Since last October, American casualties have been reduced about fifty percent. Part of this was due to the heavier use of air freight. Bulk, and oversize items, still have to come by road. That means water and fuel tankers are still out there, and most of the food still arrives by truck.
To make the new air freight emphasis work, more of Iraq's air fields have been repaired, and upgraded so they can handle large transports flying in from the United States or Europe. With fewer convoys on the road, security forces assigned to convoy protection can concentrate more of their forces on trucks moving into high-danger areas.

 


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