U.S. Air Force C-130Js Airdrop Humanitarian Aid into Gaza

The United Nations says at least 576,000 civilians are close to famine in the war-torn area.

A U.S. Air Force loadmaster releases humanitarian aid pallets of food over Gaza. [Courtesy: U.S. Air Force]

Three U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules tactical airlifters participated in an airdrop of critical humanitarian supplies and food aid into Gaza with the Royal Jordanian Air Force over the weekend.

During the two-hour humanitarian joint operation Saturday, more than 38,000 meals ready to eat (MREs) were dropped from U.S. C-130s along the Gaza coastline, according to U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM).

The coastline locations were chosen specifically as areas thought to allow civilians the best access to the aid, senior administration officials said Saturday, adding that the drop was the first of a series.

The United Nations said the drop zone was in a territory where at least 576,000 civilians are a step away from famine conditions five months into the Israel-Hamas war, Reuters reported.

[Courtesy: U.S. Air Force]

The nearly 70 pallets of aid bundles were prepared by the U.S. Army's 165th Quartermaster Company at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia on Friday and rigged with parachutes before they were loaded onto the C-130Js, the Air Force said. Each airlifter carried 22 pallets.

U.S. Army Central quartermaster company soldiers, specializing in rigging supplies for airdrops, ensured parachutes were prepared properly so the palletized food could be dropped safely from the air. [Courtesy: U.S. Air Force]

"The DOD [Department of Defense] humanitarian airdrops contribute to ongoing U.S. government efforts to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance to the people in Gaza," CENTCOM said in a statement. "We are conducting planning for potential follow-on airborne aid delivery missions. These airdrops are part of a sustained effort to get more aid into Gaza, including by expanding the flow of aid through land corridors and routes."

More than 38,000 meals ready to eat destined for an airdrop over Gaza are loaded aboard a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia March 1. [Courtesy: U.S. Air Force]

Kimberly is managing editor of FLYING Digital.

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