Shows Return To Force Structure Capability, Rapid Mobility
A C-17 Globemaster III landed at Shindand Air Base recently,
marking the first time the large military transport aircraft has
needed to land at the base since the refurbished runway opened in
December 2010. The landing marked a significant milestone as
strategic airlift provides a critical and important capability to
mass lethal and nonlethal forces on a global scale. Airlift is the
rapid mobility cornerstone of the United States' first responder
force in times of crisis anywhere around the globe, Shindand
Globemaster On Ramp At Shindand
"Shindand's ability to operate and maintain a C-17 capable
war-fighting platform directly supports the U.S. Central Command
commander's operational support vision for Western Afghanistan,"
said Col. Larry Bowers, the 838th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group
commander "C-17 aircraft, in particular, are often the first called
and sometimes the only military force capable of providing an
initial response and volume to a crisis within hours of the
Located in Herat province, Shindand's originally Soviet-built
runway, constructed in 1961, was rebuilt at the base after it
suffered massive damage by coalition forces during the initiation
of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2002. The runway was rebuilt in
2009 and since then has supported coalition aircraft as large as a
C-130 Hercules. Officials said the role of the C-17 will be to
transport cargo and passengers and within 60 days, the flightline
will also have the capability to support two C-17s 24-hours a day
in direct support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
"Aircraft improves battlefield distribution for users and
increases the system's ability to respond quickly to change which
will serve to shorten Shindand's logistical timelines and supply
lines for personnel, pieces and parts in direct support of OEF,"
Colonel Bowers explained. "Airlift is viewed as a foundation of
U.S. national security at the strategic level and as a crucial
capability for operational commanders within a theater."
The landing was truly a joint team effort, officials said. "This
landing could not have taken place without the teamwork of many
base agencies coming together in a total team effort," said Capt.
Billy Wilson, of 838th AEAG operations. "What's truly phenomenal is
this landing had zero impact on fixed-wing operations."
Shindand's 8,500 foot long by 90 foot wide runway is constructed
of concrete and provides all-weather capability. It will support
all Afghan air force aircraft and is used to facilitate the Afghan
pilot training program while supporting coalition operations.
ANN Salutes Capt. Jamie Humphries, 438th Air
Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs