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Airdrop Systems Technician

Assure military goods are dropped on-target and in good condition.

What does an Airdrop Systems Technician do?

Imagine the roar of an airplane’s engine vibrating through your ears as you brace your legs in a balanced stance, perched, waiting for your superior’s command. Once the order is given, pallets and parachutes fling out of the back of the plane like spring-loaded rockets. But your job, as Airdrop Systems Technician, doesn’t end there. In fact, it has just begun. That’s because, once your load is safely ejected from the plane, the process begins again for the next airdrop.

“Airdrop” is a military term that refers to dropping equipment, supplies, or personnel from an aircraft. There are many ways to do this. The most common and well-tested is via parachute. The Airdrop Systems Technician’s job is to make sure every parachute on the plane has been thoroughly inspected for tears, imperfections, broken strings, or faulty parts. You also make sure that dated, flawed, or damaged parachutes are pulled from the inventory and disposed of.

In addition to parachutes, Airdrop Systems Technicians supervise the maintenance, operation, and repair of other airdrop systems, such as those that release supplies from the plane. Your cargo can be anything from an enlisted army man to a tank. Each item requires a different system to secure it within the airplane, release it with the proper force, and ensure that it lands without damage. For example, boxes of humanitarian aid (food, blankets, water, medical supplies) and equipment support (weapons, ammunition) require proper packaging, while a tank necessitates a system that slows the rate of descent and offers a soft landing.