[Photo] Inside a U.S. C-130H during a night air cargo drop over Afghanistan

An air cargo drop mission can be quite demanding, especially if conducted at night.

The thing becomes much more challenging when the flight takes place over the enemy territory where there is a residual risk of MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defense Systems) or small arms.

Night airdrop 2

On these missions, not only pilots but all the crew wear Night Vision Goggles, and use the side windows of the plane to spot any sign of hostile fire.

The images in this post show aircrew of the 774th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron C-130H Hercules from Bagram airfield, involved in an airdrop mission in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan, on Oct. 7, 2013.

night airdrop 3

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.