Hungarian Defense Forces Paratroopers exits a SAC C-17 at Pápa Air Base. Photo: HAW / Henrik Gebhardt
On February 5, the Heavy Airlift Wing conducted joint airdrop training with the Hungarian Defense Forces paratroopers. The training was conducted at Pápa Air Base, the home station of the Strategic Airlift Capability C-17.
An essential component of the Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC) air operations, and one that is increasingly requested by the member nations, is the capability to perform airdrops. The Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW), the operational unit of the SAC, has the ability to perform single-ship airdrop of paratroopers, Container Delivery System (CDS) bundles, and platforms with heavy equipment.
In order to maintain the airdrop ability at all times, HAW aircrews conduct airdrop currency training on a regular basis. At these training missions both CDS bundles and platforms for heavy equipment can be dropped, as well as paratroopers, allowing HAW and in this case also Hungarian Defense Forces valuable currency training without leaving home station.
About the Strategic Airlift Capability
Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC), established in 2008, is a multinational program that provides its 12 member nations with assured access to military airlift capability by owning and operating three Boeing C-17A Globemaster III long-range cargo aircraft.
SAC is based at the Hungarian Defense Forces (HDF) Pápa Air Base, Hungary.
The SAC Nations are the NATO members Hungary (program host nation), Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and the United States and NATO Partnership for Peace nations Finland and Sweden. Each participating nation owns a share of the available flight hours of the SAC C-17As to serve the needs of their national defense, NATO, EU or UN commitments and humanitarian relief efforts.
SAC consists of the 12-nation Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW) and the NATO Airlift Management Programme Office (NAM PO). The HAW is the operational unit and the NAM PO, an integral part of the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA), is the acquisition and sustainment authority of the SAC C-17A weapon system.
NAM PO contracts Boeing via a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) agreement to provide technical support for the SAC C-17A aircraft.