Friday, December 10, 2010

DESC From Above

Forty bundles of fuel fall from a United States Air Force Globemaster III aircraft over Afghanistan, Dec. 8, 2010. The aircraft is assigned to the 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Andy Kin

OK, I know there is no more DESC, but couldn't resist the line and I wanted to share this great picture. Above a C17 is dropping pallets of what appear to be four, fifty five gallon drums of fuel. Forty pallets mean about 8800 gallons or about 1/10th of what Camp Leatherneck uses in a day. If the NATO contract delivered prices was $6.30, then the unburdened cost was about $55k. Now, since a C17 gets great gas mileage, around 10 gal/mi and we figure a couple of hundred miles to the target, then the round trip gas cost is about $25k. Throw in maintenance, ground crew, air crew and all the other bells and whistles and let’s say another $20k we have a nearly fully burdened cost of about $11 bucks. Not sure I could stretch it to $400.

The fact is they have to get the mission done and they will continue to get it done. We owe them alternatives. As those of us who are back in the good ole’ US of A prepare for the holiday season, give thanks to those who stand at freedom’s gate for us. No matter the cost, they stand ready. Thank you, men and women of our Armed Forces.

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