Air Force drivers haul the Iraq withdrawal

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AirforcetruckstopThey’re “working overtime now with the 31 December deadline,” says Melissa Milner with U.S. Air Forces Central. Last week, she notified me of a special feature on their website detailing the hauling efforts of the Air Force’s 70th Medium Truck Detachment, charged with moving massive amounts of materiel out of Iraq before the end of the year. They’ve stepped up missions nearly threefold in the last few months, from about 11 a month in January 2011 to “34 to 40” throughout the fall of the year, according to Lt. Colonel John O’Connor.

This month, O’Connor added, they were expecting as many as 60 total missions — hauls from bases and other locations in country, aided in some instances by civilian Iraqi haulers, as at least one picture in the below gallery attests. Check out the photos, all taken by Air Force Master Sergeant Jeffrey Allen (including the above shot of U.S. Air Force Tech. Sergeant David Perez, convoy commander of the 70th MTD, at the U.S. military’s equivalent of a truck stop post-convoy), for a spectacular window into some of the missions.

And I’d recommend reading, too, Air Force Staff Sergeant David Salanitri’s story about the 70th detachment, where further photos are also available, via this page.