Riggers, chaplain ready for 'The Big Drop' in Afghanistan
December 21, 2010
BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan - The unit ministry team and riggers of the 101st Sustainment Brigade teamed up to prepare for 101 air drops slated to take place next week.
The "Big Drop" will bring 101 bundles of care packages and other supplies to service members in two dozen remote Forward Operating Bases across Regional Command-East.
The 101st Sustainment Brigade performed the air drop of 101 bundles when they were last deployed in 2008, said Col. Peterman, commander of the 101st Sustainment Brigade. The "Big Drop" will bring the care packages and supplies to service members of several units and branches.
"We were thinking about what we needed to do for the soldiers for Christmas," said Chaplain (Maj.) Tammie Crews, chaplain for the 101st Sustainment Brigade.
Crews, along with the Brigade Unit Ministry Team, began to think of ways to spread some holiday cheer to the hundreds of Lifeliners across Afghanistan, but the effort quickly grew.
"It started as what we needed to do for our soldiers in remote FOBs," Crews said. "Then Colonel Peterman put out the word that anyone on remote FOBs could receive the 'Big Drop.'"
The Unit Ministry Team spear-headed the project. They gathered extra items from across Bagram Air Field. They also sent out for help through soldiers' through families and various churches stateside to mail items for the 101 air drops, Crews said.
"This is a good way to help and let the soldiers know someone is thinking of them," Crews said. "There are always churches that want to help soldiers for Christmas. This is a way for people and kids to say thank you and we support our troops."
The care packages included several items soldiers need in the remote posts across Afghanistan, including personal hygiene goods, Crews said. Snack foods and other items were also sent to give the soldiers a taste of home for the holidays.
The riggers of the 11th Quartermaster Detachment, 101st Sustainment Brigade, created the bundles for the "Big Drop." Other supplies the service members need, including water, fuel and medical supplies were bundled with the care packages, Peterman said.
The riggers prepare several hundreds of bundles each month, said Warrant Officer Eric Houchens, air drop technician with the 11th Quartermaster Detachment. The bundles will be delivered to the FOBs by low-cost, low-altitude air drops.
"We resupply the other FOBs," said Spc. Nathan Dougherty, a rigger with the 11th Quartermaster Detachment. "We give them their life line."
The unit ministry team was at hand to assist the riggers stack, wrap and tie parachutes onto several of the bundles for the "Big Drop."
The 101 bundles are scheduled to be dropped by airplane next week to about two dozen forward operating bases and combat outposts across Afghanistan.
"Anything the war fighter needs, we can drop it," said Houchens, air drop technician with the 11th Quartermaster Detachment. "We support the war fighter down to the FOB and COB. We support Marines and allied forces."