In the middle of 87,000 acres there was a small clearing about the size of two football fields. And in that small clearing, there was a small orange triangle that marked the center of the Rawhide Drop Zone for the Air Drop competition for the AMC Rodeo 2011. Aircrews were scored on their time over the DZ and how accurate their drop landed from the orange marker. There is nothing like seeing a massive C-17 1,000 feet over a tall treeline with its’ cargo ramp open and line up on you. Just another day in the Air Force!
Then was the the C-17 crew from Altus.
After every drop the crews at the DZ quickly went into the thick grass and removed the pallet before the next aircrew made it’s run in.
A C-130 from the AMC 19th AW from Little Rock AFB drops it’s pallet right on the money!
Less then 30 minutes later a C-17 from Elmendorf screamed overhead.
One of the Airman from the Combat Control Team races out to measure the drop from the orange marker. CCT also was responsible for making sure the range was clear and safe.
A Herk from the the AETC 314th Airlift Wing based at Little Rock AFB flies over next.
This sharp King Air from Edwards AFB was flying photo chase for each of the drops over Rawhide. Apparently one needed a High Altitude Chamber Card and Air Force Medical to fly in it as it cruised by at a nose bleeding altitude of 1,200 feet!
The 314th’s drop nearly hit the orange marker!
And just like that it was time to get the pallet and move it out of the way.
And last for us was the Royal Saudi Air Force.
After that, we headed back to Rainier Ranch and shot from the Hill once again. This time we were lucky enough to see Mt. Rainier in the background, so I tried to capture as many shots of the airplanes with the 14,411 volcano in the background.