“Hubitual” Pride

The 777th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, a C-130 unit operating from Balad AB, Iraq, says its transport activities have kept approximately 10,000 ground vehicles and about 27,000 airmen, marines, sailors, and soldiers from having to travel along dangerous truck convoy routes since the unit’s stand-up in January 2006. “The convoys are still facing a lot of threats out there,” said TSgt. Eric McNeish, 777 EAS flight engineer, deployed from Little Rock AFB, Ark. “We are able to keep more vehicles and people off the roads and lessen their chances of encountering improvised explosive devices, direct gun fire, or other harmful situations throughout these regions.” Under USAF’s “hub-and-spoke” approach, Balad is a major logistical supply hub from which supplies are airlifted to austere locations. “If we can save one person by taking them out of harm’s way, we have achieved our goal,” said Captain Jesse Caldwell 777th EAS aircraft commander. (Balad report by SSgt. Ruth Curfman)