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McChord airmen coming home after conquering “Everest”

Post by Matt Misterek / The News Tribune on Aug. 31, 2010 at 11:00 am with No Comments »
August 31, 2010 11:00 am

More than 120 airmen from Joint Base Lewis-McChord will return from a 120-day Middle East deployment Thursday morning after having set a record with what squadron leaders called “Operation Everest.”

In early August, the air crews with McChord Field’s 8th Airlift Squadron dropped a record-breaking 837 bundles on 22 drop zones with a combined weight of more than 1.1 million pounds of cargo, according to a spokeswoman. That is the most bundles ever dropped in a week by a C-17 cargo jet squadron, she said.

All told during the deployment, the squadron flew 2,789 sorties, equaling more than 7,000 hours, moved more than 37,000 passengers and delivered more than 115 million pounds of cargo for U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a press release.

“I’ve really enjoyed watching this team work – setting a goal, setting the bar high and watching them achieve it,” said Lt. Col. Stephen Ritter, the squadron commander, in the press release.

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