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Reserve crew assists in airdrop test

A simulated container delivery system falls to Earth Sept. 24 after an Air Force Reserve C-130 Hercules assigned to the 302nd Airlift Wing air dropped it over Fort Carson, Colo. The drop was in support of the U.S. Air Force Academy's Airdrop Enhanced Logistics Visibility System prototype system that demonstrated the ability of commanders in the field and at the headquarters level to simultaneously identify the location and contents of a CDS within minutes of the cargo leaving the aircraft. The AELVIS program aims to provide war fighters in locations like Iraq and Afghanistan with exact details on crucial cargo drops for resupply. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Jody L. Ritchie)

A simulated container delivery system falls to Earth Sept. 24 after an Air Force Reserve C-130 Hercules assigned to the 302nd Airlift Wing air dropped it over Fort Carson, Colo. The drop was in support of the U.S. Air Force Academy's Airdrop Enhanced Logistics Visibility System prototype system that demonstrated the ability of commanders in the field and at the headquarters level to simultaneously identify the location and contents of a CDS within minutes of the cargo leaving the aircraft. The AELVIS program aims to provide war fighters in locations like Iraq and Afghanistan with exact details on crucial cargo drops for resupply. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Jody L. Ritchie)

A laptop computer simulates the tracking of a container delivery system and its inventory Sept. 24 as part of the U.S. Air Force Academy's Airdrop Enhanced Logistics Visibility System prototype. The AELVIS prototype, which was dropped from an Air Force Reserve C-130 Hercules, assigned to the 302nd Airlift Wing, demonstrated the ability of commanders in the field and at the headquarters level to simultaneously identify the location and contents of a CDS within minutes of the cargo leaving the aircraft. The AELVIS program aims to provide war fighters in locations like Iraq and Afghanistan with exact details on crucial cargo drops for resupply. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Jody L. Ritchie)

A laptop computer simulates the tracking of a container delivery system and its inventory Sept. 24 as part of the U.S. Air Force Academy's Airdrop Enhanced Logistics Visibility System prototype. The AELVIS prototype, which was dropped from an Air Force Reserve C-130 Hercules, assigned to the 302nd Airlift Wing, demonstrated the ability of commanders in the field and at the headquarters level to simultaneously identify the location and contents of a CDS within minutes of the cargo leaving the aircraft. The AELVIS program aims to provide war fighters in locations like Iraq and Afghanistan with exact details on crucial cargo drops for resupply. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Jody L. Ritchie)

An Air Force Reserve C-130 Hercules assigned to the 302nd Airlift Wing executes a simulated container delivery system drop Sept. 24 at Fort Carson, Colo., in support of the U.S. Air Force Academy's Airdrop Enhanced Logistics Visibility System prototype. The AELVIS system demonstrated the ability of commanders in the field and at the headquarters level to simultaneously identify the location and contents of a CDS within minutes of the cargo leaving the aircraft. The AELVIS program aims to provide war fighters in locations like Iraq and Afghanistan with exact details on crucial cargo drops for resupply. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Jody L. Ritchie)

An Air Force Reserve C-130 Hercules assigned to the 302nd Airlift Wing executes a simulated container delivery system drop Sept. 24 at Fort Carson, Colo., in support of the U.S. Air Force Academy's Airdrop Enhanced Logistics Visibility System prototype. The AELVIS system demonstrated the ability of commanders in the field and at the headquarters level to simultaneously identify the location and contents of a CDS within minutes of the cargo leaving the aircraft. The AELVIS program aims to provide war fighters in locations like Iraq and Afghanistan with exact details on crucial cargo drops for resupply. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Jody L. Ritchie)

Cadets Second Class Benjamin Tyler and Evan Lomeli (left) look on as members of the 39th Aerial Port Squadron turn over a recently-air dropped cargo pallet after a simulated container delivery system drop Sept. 24 at Fort Carson, Colo. The drop, conducted by a C-130 Hercules crew assigned to the Air Force Reserve's 302nd Airlift Wing, supported the U.S. Air Force Academy's Airdrop Enhanced Logistics Visibility System prototype system that demonstrated the ability of commanders in the field and at the headquarters level to simultaneously identify the location and contents of a CDS within minutes of the cargo leaving the aircraft. The AELVIS program aims to provide war fighters in locations like Iraq and Afghanistan with exact details on crucial cargo drops for resupply. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Jody L. Ritchie)

Cadets Second Class Benjamin Tyler and Evan Lomeli (left) look on as members of the 39th Aerial Port Squadron turn over a recently-air dropped cargo pallet after a simulated container delivery system drop Sept. 24 at Fort Carson, Colo. The drop, conducted by a C-130 Hercules crew assigned to the Air Force Reserve's 302nd Airlift Wing, supported the U.S. Air Force Academy's Airdrop Enhanced Logistics Visibility System prototype system that demonstrated the ability of commanders in the field and at the headquarters level to simultaneously identify the location and contents of a CDS within minutes of the cargo leaving the aircraft. The AELVIS program aims to provide war fighters in locations like Iraq and Afghanistan with exact details on crucial cargo drops for resupply. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Jody L. Ritchie)

Airman 1st Class Bryce Griffin, 39th Aerial Port Squadron air transportation apprentice, bundles parachute cord after a simulated container delivery system drop Sept. 24 at Fort Carson, Colo. The drop, conducted by a C-130 Hercules crew assigned to the Air Force Reserve's 302nd Airlift Wing, supported the U.S. Air Force Academy's Airdrop Enhanced Logistics Visibility System prototype system that demonstrated the ability of commanders in the field and at the headquarters level to simultaneously identify the location and contents of a CDS within minutes of the cargo leaving the aircraft. The AELVIS program aims to provide war fighters in locations like Iraq and Afghanistan with exact details on crucial cargo drops for resupply. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Jody L. Ritchie)

Airman 1st Class Bryce Griffin, 39th Aerial Port Squadron air transportation apprentice, bundles parachute cord after a simulated container delivery system drop Sept. 24 at Fort Carson, Colo. The drop, conducted by a C-130 Hercules crew assigned to the Air Force Reserve's 302nd Airlift Wing, supported the U.S. Air Force Academy's Airdrop Enhanced Logistics Visibility System prototype system that demonstrated the ability of commanders in the field and at the headquarters level to simultaneously identify the location and contents of a CDS within minutes of the cargo leaving the aircraft. The AELVIS program aims to provide war fighters in locations like Iraq and Afghanistan with exact details on crucial cargo drops for resupply. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Jody L. Ritchie)

Senior Airman Kacy Foshee (foreground), 39th Aerial Port Squadron air transportation apprentice, works with members of his squadron to collect parachute cord after a simulated container delivery system drop Sept. 24 at Fort Carson, Colo. The drop, conducted by a C-130 Hercules crew assigned to the Air Force Reserve's 302nd Airlift Wing, supported the U.S. Air Force Academy's Airdrop Enhanced Logistics Visibility System prototype system that demonstrated the ability of commanders in the field and at the headquarters level to simultaneously identify the location and contents of a CDS within minutes of the cargo leaving the aircraft. The AELVIS project aims to provide war fighters in locations like Iraq and Afghanistan with exact details on crucial cargo drops for resupply. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Jody L. Ritchie)

Senior Airman Kacy Foshee (foreground), 39th Aerial Port Squadron air transportation apprentice, works with members of his squadron to collect parachute cord after a simulated container delivery system drop Sept. 24 at Fort Carson, Colo. The drop, conducted by a C-130 Hercules crew assigned to the Air Force Reserve's 302nd Airlift Wing, supported the U.S. Air Force Academy's Airdrop Enhanced Logistics Visibility System prototype system that demonstrated the ability of commanders in the field and at the headquarters level to simultaneously identify the location and contents of a CDS within minutes of the cargo leaving the aircraft. The AELVIS project aims to provide war fighters in locations like Iraq and Afghanistan with exact details on crucial cargo drops for resupply. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Jody L. Ritchie)

Master Sgt. Tom Freeman, a 731st Airlift Squadron loadmaster, provides a recorded interview with U.S. Air Force Academy personnel Sept. 24 before a simulated container delivery system drop at Fort Carson, Colo. The CDS drop, supported by a C-130 Hercules crew from the Air Force Reserve's 302nd Airlift Wing, supported the USAFA's Airdrop Enhanced Logistics Visibility System prototype system that demonstrated the ability of commanders in the field and at the headquarters level to simultaneously identify the location and contents of a CDS within minutes of the cargo leaving the aircraft. The AELVIS program aims to provide war fighters in locations like Iraq and Afghanistan with exact details on crucial cargo drops for resupply. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Jody L. Ritchie)

Master Sgt. Tom Freeman, a 731st Airlift Squadron loadmaster, provides a recorded interview with U.S. Air Force Academy personnel Sept. 24 before a simulated container delivery system drop at Fort Carson, Colo. The CDS drop, supported by a C-130 Hercules crew from the Air Force Reserve's 302nd Airlift Wing, supported the USAFA's Airdrop Enhanced Logistics Visibility System prototype system that demonstrated the ability of commanders in the field and at the headquarters level to simultaneously identify the location and contents of a CDS within minutes of the cargo leaving the aircraft. The AELVIS program aims to provide war fighters in locations like Iraq and Afghanistan with exact details on crucial cargo drops for resupply. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Jody L. Ritchie)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- A C-130 aircrew from here tested an airdrop concept that may one day help war fighters in Afghanistan and Iraq know the exact location and content of cargo.

Reservists from Air Force Reserve Command's 302nd Airlift Wing flew the test for the U.S. Air Force Academy's Institute for Information Technology Applications. They dropped the test cargo Sept. 24 onto the Airburst range at Fort Carson, Colo. Data from the drop will serve as a real-world tool to forward information on cargo inventories to deployed forces and command and control elements over a unified common operational picture.

The Airdrop Enhanced Logistics Visibility System combines existing Blue Force Tracker capabilities with automated information and geospatial technologies. AELVIS gives the exact location of an air-dropped container delivery system and its inventory within minutes of the load leaving the plane. This technology can also be applied to heavy equipment airdrops, such as vehicles.

During the airdrop, a recovery team about 1,000 yards from the drop zone identified the exact GPS coordinates of two separate cargo delivery systems dropped during a joint precision airdrop system training mission. The team was also able to determine the contents of each CDS immediately after the loads landed.

At the Air Force Academy, 39 miles north of the drop zone, people in a simulated operations center observed the drop and received CDS information at the same time as the recovery team. They were also able to gauge the effectiveness of the drop by using a scoring application developed by contractors working with the academy's IITA.

"This project addresses the 'last tactical mile' in airdrop operations," said Lt. Col. Patrick Ryan, project officer for AELVIS and a C-130 navigator in the 302nd AW. "With this system, we're providing instantaneous airdrop information to multiple stakeholders. For example, ground commanders at the drop zone can prioritize the recovery of CDS's after an airdrop using our integrated inventory data viewer with the click of a mouse while operations and support personnel thousands of miles away can accurately score each CDS bundle in reference to the point of impact.

"FedEx determined a long time ago information about a package can be more important than the package itself," Colonel Ryan said. "We believe in this philosophy and are determined to provide this capability to war fighters, even if it's one CDS at a time." (Air Force Reserve Command News Service)