Tag Archives: Boeing C-17 Globemaster III

USAF C-17 and C-130 Cargo Aircraft Airlift Troops to Mexican Border in Security Operation Dubbed “Faithful Patriot”

U.S. Mobilizes Over 5,200 Troops to Southern Border in Security Operation.

On Monday, October 29, 2018 the U.S. Air Force released the first video of C-17 Globemaster III and C-130 Hercules tactical transport aircraft deploying with full-time U.S. military troops to the United States/Mexico border in support of Operation Faithful Patriot. The video shows units of the 3rd Airlift Squadron of Dover Air Force Base and 61st Airlift Squadron of Little Rock, Arkansas loading cargo and personnel at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

According to an official statement, U.S. Northern Command General Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy told media that Operation Faithful Patriot is deploying regular, full-time U.S. military units to the region, “To harden the southern border”. The arrival of regular military units will augment National Guard units and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol operations already in the southern frontier region.

Units shown in the video include the Headquarters Company of the 89th Military Police Brigade. It is likely the Headquarters Company of the 89th Military Police has been forward-deployed prior to the arrival of other elements of the unit as an advanced party to establish logistics in the region prior to the arrival of the remaining unit.

A USAF C-130 Hercules transport painted with WWII invasion stripes is loaded with personal equipment of troops deploying to the Mexican border. (Photo: USAF Released)

The border region between Mexico and the United States has become increasingly volatile due to an increase in narco-trafficking and illegal immigration. The city of Juarez, Mexico on the U.S./Mexican border has seen a significant spike in narco-insurgent violence. On June 23, 2018 alone, 20 people were killed in a single attack by gunmen. In another narco-insurgent attack in a barber shop that same day, five more people were killed. During the first six months of 2018, over 500 people have been reported killed in narco-insurgent violence in Juarez, which borders the Texas city of El Paso across the Rio Grande River forming a natural buffer zone between the two countries.

According to the local news outlet, “The El Paso Times”, the “Number of monthly deaths have more than doubled from earlier this year” in Juarez.

Statistics tabulated by the Uppsala Conflict Data Program for 2010 showed 2,956 deaths in Mexico in the ongoing narcotics conflicts while that same year 2,158 were reported killed in the civil war in Somalia.

A U.S. Customs and Border Patrol special operations team fast ropes from a CBP UH-60L Blackhawk helicopter in a demonstration of capabilities at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo: Tom Demerly/TheAviationist.com)

Analyst Scott Stewart, Vice-President of Tactical Analysis for Stratfor, the international intelligence think-tank, said in an August 14, 2018 analysis that, “Hot wars among Mexico’s cartel groups are feeding the country’s record number of homicides. The carnage can be found in border towns such as Tijuana, Juarez and Reynosa; in drug production areas such as Guerrero state; at retail drug sales points such as Mexico City and Cancun, and at hot spots for petroleum theft such as Guanajuato”.

The airlift deployment of U.S. regular military troops to the region also coincides with the anticipated arrival of “several thousand” migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and other Central American nations that are moving north through Mexico toward the U.S. border.

The deployment of active military troops to the region during a crisis is not unprecedented. According to a report in the BBC World News on October 29, 2018, “President Barack Obama sent some 1,200 National Guard soldiers to guard the boundary, while President George W Bush deployed about 6,000 troops to help Border Patrol in what was called Operation Jump Start.”


C-17 Globemaster III Cargo Aircraft Accidentally Drops Humvee Over North Carolina Neighborhood

The incident occurred during a test conducted by soldiers from the Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate.

At around 1 PM LT, a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III, belonging to the 437th airlift wing based at Joint Base Charleston dropped a Humvee over a neighborhood in Harnett County on Oct. 24, 2018.

No one was injured in the incident, caused by an early release of the palletized Humvee, one of the eight the U.S. Air Force cargo aircraft is able to carry and airdrop from its rear ramp, during a special operations training over Fort Bragg drop zone. The aircraft was flying at an altitude of 1,500 feet and the early release occurred about 1 mile from the drop zone.

The C-17 was involved in a heavy drop test conducted by the Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate that tests new equipment and procedures to support the aerial delivery and transportation of military equipment. Just two “items” were aboard the C-17 during the exercise: the Humvee that was prematurely dropped and a “new heavy drop platform”, ABC11 reported.

“Everything went as planned except for the early release,” said Fort Bragg spokesperson Tom McCollum.

Here below you can see how a Humvee airdrop over Fort Bragg looks like from the ramp of a Globemaster III.

Top image: file photo of a HMMWV “Humvee” parachuted to the ground while as C-17 Globemaster III aircraft preparing to drop additional vehicles fly past during an airborne training exercise conducted by the 82nd Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team Sept. 8, 2011, at Fort Bragg, N.C. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod)

Here Are The First Photographs Of U.S. Air Force C-17 and Marine Corps KC-130J Operating From New U.S. Airfield in Northern Syria

U.S. Air Forces Central Command has just released some photographs from an “undisclosed location”: geolocation proves they are the first from a recently-built airbase in northern Syria.

CENTCOM has just published some interesting photographs of U.S. assets supporting Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve. In particular, the images depict U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III and U.S. Marine Corps KC-130J operating from an austere runway at what the official captions refer to as an “undisclosed location”.

Here is one of those images:

A U.S. Marine Corps C-130 Hercules departs from an undisclosed location, June 22, 2018. The C-130 transported personnel and supplies to another location in the area of operations in support of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR). In conjunction with partner forces, CJTF-OIR’s mission is to defeat ISIS in designated areas of Iraq and Syria and set conditions to increase regional stability. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Corey Hook)

However, the new images, taken between Jun. 20 and 23, 2018 and released by CENTCOM Public Affairs earlier today, were immediately geolocated by the OSINT investigator and famous Twitter user Samir (@obretix).

Therefore, those you can find in this post are, to our knowledge, the very first photographs showing operations at a new U.S./Coalition military base in Syria’s northeastern province of Al-Hasakah whose construction works were exposed by OSINT (Open Source Intelligence) analysis of satellite pictures in 2017 and completion appeared to be imminent or just finished at the end of April 2018:


Another U.S. airfield is located in northern Syria: Sarrin. The base was built in 2016 and the first aircraft appeared to operate from there in July 2017. Here below you can find a tweet with some recent images from there:

Noteworthy, the images released today of the operations at the new airfield in Syria show an interesting KC-130J. This airframe (serial 167110), whose main role is to act as an aerial refueler, has a pretty career: back in 2010, the aircraft deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan, and was fitted with what was been dubbed the Harvest Hawk weapons system. Along with the traditional air-to-air refueling, and cargo and troop transportation tasks, the KC-130J from Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 352 out of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California carried out several Close Air Support missions earning many mission markings firing AGM-114K and Griffin missiles.

A U.S. Marine Corps C-130J Hercules flies over an undisclosed location after departure, June 22, 2018. The C-130 was transporting personnel and supplies to another location in Combined Joint Task Force’s area of operations. The KC-130J Hercules supports expeditionary operations by providing air-to-air refueling, rapid ground refueling and logistic support to operating forces. Tactical transportation of personnel or cargo includes aerial delivery or austere landing zone operations. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Corey Hook)

H/T @obretix for the help in writing this article

Watch A USAF C-17 Air-Launch An Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile Target Over The Pacific Ocean During A THAAD Test

A C-17 Globemaster III assigned to the 418th Flight Test Squadron air-launched a ballistic missile target over the Pacific Ocean.

On July 11, a U.S. Air Force C-17 airlifter supported a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense test at Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska in Kodiak, Alaska.

Indeed, the C-17 air-launched an IRBM (Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile) target north of Hawaii that was detected, tracked and intercepted by the TGAAD weapons system.

According to an Air Force release, the test, designated Flight Test THAAD (FTT)-18, was executed by MDA, supported by elements of the U.S. Army, Joint Forces Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Coast Guard, Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska, Ballistic Missile Defense Operational Test Agency, DoD Operational Test and Evaluation, and the Army Test and Evaluation Command.

This was the 14th successful intercept in 14 attempts for the THAAD weapon system. According to MDA, “the THAAD element provides a globally-transportable, rapidly-deployable capability to intercept ballistic missiles inside or outside the atmosphere during their final, or terminal, phase of flight. The MDA says THAAD is strictly a defense system. The system uses hit-to-kill technology whereby kinetic energy destroys the incoming target. The high-altitude intercept mitigates effects of enemy weapons before they reach the ground.”

A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense interceptor is launched from the Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska in Kodiak, Alaska, during Flight Test THAAD (FTT)-18 July 11, 2017. During the test, the THAAD weapon system successfully intercepted an air-launched intermediate-range ballistic missile target. (Missile Defense Agency photo)

The 418th Flight Test Squadron has supported these MDA tests over the years.

“The 418th is the only organization on Earth capable of airdropping MDA’s largest and most capable ballistic test missiles providing a vital examination of U.S. strategic defense assets,” said Lt. Col. Paul Calhoun, 418th FLTS commander. Soldiers from the Army’s 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade conducted launcher, fire control and radar operations using the same procedures they would use in an actual combat scenario. Soldiers operating the equipment were not aware of the actual target launch time.

The successful demonstration of THAAD against an IRBM-range missile threat comes amidst growing concern about the country’s defensive capability against developing missile threats in North Korea.

Ballistic missiles have been carried by U.S. Air Force cargo aircraft during testing activities conducted in the past.

In 1974, the U.S. thought that the best way to preserve its ICBMs (Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles) from Soviet nuclear strikes was to load them in C-5 Galaxy airlifters and keep them on the move.

A three-stage Minuteman, 56 feet in length and 86,000 pounds in weight, was attached to some parachutes that could drag it out of the cargo hold and then point it upward, then it was loaded into a Galaxy and air launched over the Pacific from the aircraft: a timer ignited the rocket motor and the missile flew for about 25 seconds before it cascaded into the Pacific Ocean.



This Cool Video Shows A U.S. C-17 Airlifter Flying At Low Level Through The Mach Loop for First Time

A cool footage of the big C-17 Globemaster III aircraft in the Mach Loop low level training area!

Some unpopulated areas of the UK, designated ‘Low Flying Area’ (LFA), as LFA-14 (Scotland), LFA-17 (Lake District) and LFA-7 (North West Wales), have been chosen for training activities of RAF at altitude as low as 250 feet.

LFA-7, used also by U.S. units as well as allied air arms and aerospace industries, has a series of valleys lined by steep sides with mountains either side rising to around 1,000 meters that allows the pilot to do training circuits at ultra-low level altitude.

UK aviation enthusiasts have nicknamed LFA-7 the “Mach Loop” after the small town at the circuits’ most southern point: Machynlleth.

Well, the “Mach Loop”  has just “scored” another first: earlier today a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III (belonging to the 315th Airlift Wing from Joint Base Charleston, S.C.) made two low-level passes through the valley area!

Aviation photographer and Mach Loop regular Paul Williams has just filmed the following really amazing video of the big airlifter maneuvering through the famous Mach Loop at very low altitude (notice the “condensation clouds generated by the aircraft as it flies through the valley in front of the photographers.)

H/T Tom Demerly for finding this!