Thursday, June 12, 2008

Video Shows Blackwater's Pinpoint Air Drops in Afghanistan

Want to see one of the ways Blackwater is supporting the troops? Watch this video. As a temporary service to fill the Air Force's lack of small fixed-wing aircraft, Blackwater Worldwide has beeen providing front-line air drop services in Afghanistan. Its fleet of twin-engine C-212 cargo aircraft has been a vital resupply link for US and Coalition forces in remote areas of the country.

A recently posted video, apparently shot last winter at a US forward operating base (FOB) in Afghanistan, shows the precision of the Blackwater drops. To avoid enemy antiaircraft fire, the small unarmed planes fly in, nap-of-the-earth about 35-50 feet off the ground at about 160 knots, pop up high enough over the drop zone to release pallets of supplies by parachute, and escape before the Taliban can shoot them.

Each highly skilled contractor pilot performs these missions several times daily, delivering everything from mail, food and water to spare parts and ammunition. Our Special Forces could not function without them.

Blackwater CEO Erik Prince told Congress last fall that the military at present cannot perform the mission because Air Force fixed-wing aircraft cannot land on the short, unimproved, high-altitude airstrips in remote parts of Afghanistan, and that the planes are too large to carry out small missions.

In the above video, someone is heard saying that a Blackwater pilots are flying in the wrong way, but he soon eats his words. Two Blackwater planes then zoom in and drop the pallets exactly on-target. It's an instructive little video.

A unit of the 82nd Airborne based at the Salerno FOB in Khost made a video of similar Blackwater missions and put it to music. To view it, click here:

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