Joint airdrop operation resupplies Combat Outpost Chergotah


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Sgt. Brian Castellion, a forward observer with 2nd Platoon Comanche Company, TF Blue Geronimo, from Caledonia, Wisconsin (Left), and Sgt. First Class Nathan Botts, Assistant Operations for S-3, HHC TF Blue Geronimo and native of Hermiston, Oreg. (Right), coordinating the airdrop mission outside COP Chergotah.

U.S. Army photo by Spc. Eric-James Estrada, Task Force Spartan

KHOWST PROVINCE, Afghanistan — A joint airdrop operation between Task Force Spartan, the U.S. Air Force, the Afghan Border Patrol and local militia Arbici was conducted to resupply paratroopers of Task Force Blue Geronimo at Combat Outpost Chergotah, a first for the area, Feb. 28.

Paratroopers from Task Force Blue Geronimo conducted a drop zone survey two weeks prior in an effort to find a safer alternative method to re-supply Combat Outpost Chergotah.

“This particular drop sets up for future drops, especially for the rebuilding of the COP. It really sets up the unit for success in being able to supply them with more equipment,” said Sgt. 1st Class Nathan Botts, assistant operations for S-3, assigned to HHC 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry (Airborne), 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, a native of Hermiston, Ore.

A C-130 was used in the joint effort to test drop 20 bundles of container delivery systems consisting of water and Meals Ready to Eat, known as MREs, using low cost high velocity parachutes.

“None of the parachutes failed making for an easy recovery,” said 1st LT. Casey Dschaak, platoon leader for 2nd Platoon Comanche Company, Task Force Blue Geronimo, a native of Belle Fourche, S.D.

“This method allows for more supplies to get in here, definitely giving us more ‘bang for the buck.’ It’s safer. You’re not moving huge convoys out here on the roads and there’s so many supplies that you’re able to store for future operations,” added Dashaak.

Despite taking two rounds of indirect-fire the operation continued and there were no further incidents to jeopardize the paratroopers, or the operation.

“I feel that the airdrop is safer, more expedient then a convoy because a convoy has to get mission prepped,” said Spc. Larry-Pablo Flores-Berrier, a paratrooper with 2nd Platoon Comanche Company, Task Force Blue Geronimo, hailing from Las Vegas. “And on top of that, the road has many dangers, which can be IED’s, or anything and that brings more complications, where as [the airdrop] took a max three hours.”

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