RAF Mildenhall supports AFRICOM

By Airman 1st Class Benjamin Cooper 100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

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The 100th Logistics Readiness Squadron deployment and distribution flight here, put together a cargo deployment function to send to Camp Lemonier, Djibouti, March 10, 2018.

The CDF was comprised of almost 10,000 pounds of equipment to aid in continuing support of U.S. Africa Command.

“We do CDF’s once or twice a week,” said Senior Airman Kelvin Mason, 100th LRS traffic management officer. “Depending on the size and nature of the mission, we can complete them in as little as a few hours.”

The process of completing the CDF requires exact measurements, weight and most of all, timing.

“The aircraft has to depart by a certain time, so we track how long it takes us to accomplish each task so the aircraft can leave at its scheduled departure time,” said Mason. “Everything we do is tracked from start to finish.”

Depending on the needs of the mission, CDF’s can be accomplished using a variety of aircraft, including the KC-135 Stratotanker.

“We are able to carry about 36,000 pounds of palletized cargo on board, which can contain anything from aircraft equipment to medical evacuation requirements,” said Master Sgt. Heath Tuma, 351st Air Refueling Squadron boom operator.

The versatility of the Stratotanker allows the cargo to be stored in different ways to accomplish the mission.

“We have two types of cargo we carry - floor load, where we strap it down directly to the floor, or palletized, where it’s built on a pallet,” said Tuma. “We can slide the pallets onto the aircraft a little bit more efficiently.”

Tasks such as this one illustrate the flexibility of RAF Mildenhall’s Airmen and equipment to accomplish the mission and reinforce the strength of U.S. partners and allies.


Editor's note: The original story can be viewed on the Royal Air Force Mildenhall website.