Air Force loadmasters have been adding a sweet touch to the humanitarian airdrop bundles they prepare to help Iraqi families isolated by ISIS extremists in northern Iraq. In actions reminiscent of retired Col. Gail Halvorsen, the “Candy Bomber” who dropped packs of candy to German children while flying relief supplies during the Berlin Airlift in 1948-49, the loadmasters of the 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron have been taping bags of candy atop the airlift bundles to be loaded on C-17s and C-130s, according to an Air Forces Central Command release. The idea started with MSgt. Stephen Brown, who attached a pack of Skittles to an airdrop bundle to provide something special for the Iraqi children uprooted by the violence. “After that, everyone started making the drops a little personal with more candy, and I even think I saw a teddy bear,” Brown said. MSgt. Emily Edmunds, the 816th loadmaster supervisor, said: “We’ve been really impressed with the turn out and dedication of our wingmen. We are definitely not at the level of the Candy Bomber, but I’d give us an almost for our modern version of it.” Candy from care packages the airmen have received were added to the latest airdrop for the isolated town of Amirli.
More than 100 B-21s will be needed if the nation is to avoid creating a high demand/low capacity capability, panelists said on a Hudson Institute webinar. The B-21's flexibility, stealth, range and payload will be in high demand for a wide range of missions, both traditional and new.