Faster combat power, less exposure in the assault zone


running up that hill
Jan 3, 2007
in Wonderland, with my Alice
Special thanks to Robal for the link

"Here is what I remember about the Dominican Republic thing: My version differs from POWER PACK I. As I recall, the 144 airplanes that took-off 15, seconds apart, out of Pope that night, and they were headed for San Isidro. All the planes were rigged for air drop, when true to LBJ form, they were told enroute not to air drop, but land instead. Since only a few could land on that tiny little air field, the rest diverted to Ramey AB. There were so many C-130s the ground facilities at Ramey AB were overwhelmed..."

Dash-te-Kavir desert. 1980.

"Desert ONE". 1980. Iran holding Americans hostage.

Most of us are aware of the unqualified Mcpilots flying malfunctioning Navy RH-53D helicopters to the "Desert One" staging site, one turning back to the carrier due to a dust storm and one crashing into an EC-130 tanker aircraft killing 3 McAircrew and 5 USAF Aircrewmen, described in detail by the Eagle Claw mission commander, Col. James Kyle in his book; "The Guts to Try". What most do not know is that a second mission not involving helicopters was planned.

The second mission was based on multiple rockets to fly fixed wing C-130 Hercules aircraft into the Iranian soccer stadium AND OUT.

Steve Douglas writes in his Credible Sport web site:

"Was it possible to mount another rescue attempt? What would it take and how many men were questions the Pentagon began asking it's military think tanks. Iran had reacted to the raid by dispersing some of the hostages, but if they could be located by CIA operatives and if commandos could get in and out easily and as simply as possible, a plan might be feasible.

Military strategists examined other successful hostage rescue raids and in particular, the Israeli's raid on Entebbe. In the daring raid, the Israelis, landed at the Entebbe airport in C-130s, commandos attacked their jailers and freed the hostages, loaded them on the transports and were back in Israeli airspace before anyone knew what had happened. What was needed was an Entebbe style raid.

Tehran was not Entebbe, planners pointed out. The Entebbe hostages were being held in a building adjacent to the airport, the Tehran hostages were being held at the U.S. Embassy and several other locations. The closest airport to the embassy compound was Tehran airport, and landing a U.S. commando force there was out of the question.

The closest thing to a landing spot near the embassy was the embassy soccer field. In the original raid, the soccer field was to be used as an LZ for the helicopters, but helicopters were ruled in any future out because they had proven unreliable in the failed first attempt.

Somebody, somewhere in the black world had a brainstorm. Could a C-130 be modified to land in a soccer field with thirty foot obstructions at both ends and could the same aircraft take off from such a field? If it could, then a second rescue attempt just might be possible.

The commandos could be on those special C-130s. They could land right next to the embassy, locate and free the hostages and take off without ever going near the Tehran airport.Such a small field could be easily defended and the site of a vertical landing C-130 gunship filled with armed-to-the-teeth commandos would most likely make even the most hardened terrorist think twice about a confrontation. It sounded far fetched, but maybe, just maybe it could work. All that was needed was to turn a huge C-130 Hercules into a helicopter.

"Necessity is the mother of invention".

When the military needs to pull off the impossible they call Lockheed. Then Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, William Perry did just that and Credible Sport was born.

The program goal? To modify three C-130s to be able to land on a football sized field obstructed by two 33 foot structures on both ends and to be able to take off, fully loaded with troops passengers and supplies from the same field.

Dr. Perry had the Air Force provide three C-130H airframes and $25M for each aircraft to be modified by Georgia, Lockheed.

The extensive modifications to the aircraft included:

1. A terrain following radar borrowed from the A-7 Corsair II

2. Chin-mounted FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared) sensors integrated with a navigation computer.

3. Dorsal and horsal extensions (rudder and elevator leading edge extensions at fuselage junction)

4. Flap and aileron extensions (for better low speed handling)

5. Avionics package to provide glide-path guidance.

6. Rocket motors to aid take-off and landing performance: 8 Mk-6s for takeoff thrust, 8 SHRIKE motors to reduce landing rate of sink, 8 forward facing ASROC motors for deceleration, 6 ASROC motors for pitch/yaw control.

Other modifications included storing the forward facing rocket motors behind aerodynamic fairings while in flight.

From the shopping list of spare parts needed for Credible Sport, it's mission was obvious. Fly at low-level using the terrain following radar to avoid detection. Fly at night using the chin mounted FLIR to locate the landing field. A steep approach and descent to the LZ would be controlled by the forward firing the rockets slowing any forward motion to almost zero.

The powerful SHRIKE rocket motors would control rate of sink and land the huge cargo aircraft like a spaceship touching down on the moon. Six ASROC rocket motors would dampen pitch and yaw.

After the commandos had completed their mission they would board the C-130s and blast their way out in much the same way they came in.

Once at altitude, normal propelled horizontal flight would resume.

Just imagine it. A huge lumbering C-130 Hercules, spitting fire and rocket exhaust and landing like Harrier. It seemed impossible.

And yet it worked. The first successful flight test occurred on Sept. 18, 1980 only 60 or so days after modifications were begun. Video tape taken of the test showed the C-130 firing its rockets and making a rough but successful landing in the space required. The go ahead was given to modify two more C-130s for a total of three Credible Sport (then renamed "Coronet Bat") aircraft.

But then disaster struck. On October 29, 1980 as the first prototype was on a test approach and landing one of the SHRIKE rocket motors fired prematurely, ripping off the left wing.

The aircraft hit the ground hard and came apart in a spectacular fireball. Luckily the cockpit was severed from the rest of the aircraft throwing the pilots clear of the burning plane. Both were injured but survived the crash.

The program was cancelled not much later after President Reagen's election returned the hostages.

More on Credible Sport:

How many rockets can make plane land like a chopper?

Jane's reveals Iran hostage crisis engineering feat
March 3, 1997 Web posted at: 11:50 p.m. EST
From Correspondent Richard Blystone


Details on the link above!


From Maleme Airfield during the battle for Crete in WWII to Grenada in 1983, airland operations are slowed by the bottleneck of one plane landing at a time and then unloading which increases exposure to enemy fire. DoD vernacular: "MOG rates", or "Maximum aircracft On the Ground". Airdrop is superior because we get instantaneous combat power/mass on the Drop Zone (DZ) and the plane flies away in seconds. However after the drop, the area is cleared of air items and becomes an Assault Zone (AZ) for Airlanding troops who are not trained to be Paratroopers like the 10th Mountain and 25th Tropic Lightning, and 101st Air Assault LIDs. Its better to Airland mechanically fickle and shorter-range helicopters by fixed-wing aircraft for Special Operations--like Operation Eagle Claw. In 1980, we should have flown helicopters by C-130s/C-141s to Manzariyeh airfield not tried to fly them under their own power long distance from aircraft carriers to a dusty Desert One. Then helicopters could have been offloaded from the C-130s or larger C-141s to fly a shorter distance to retrieve at the soccer field a Delta Force that had first PARACHUTED IN to meet hidden compartment trucks and rescued hostages. C-17s and C-130s can assault zone STOL airland massed U.S. Army Aviation units for AirMECHanized capabilities in conventional battles. This is the future of war: Airborne, not seaborne. The problem is time wasted on the ground unloading and taxiing aircraft.

The first question is, why not have the C-130 at the end of its landing roll turn around and take-off DOWNWIND instead of taxiing back to an upwind take-off spot, which takes time, kicks up dust clouds, and exposes the Herk to more enemy fire? If necessary, use JATO for added lift to help up an empty plane.

An Argentinian AF C-130 pilot writes:

"Hi, Argentinian Hercs did that job without JATO during Malvinas war (Falkland Islands) in 1982. They used to land, taxi to the end of the runway, make a 180 degress turn, unload with engines on, and in the same position ascelerate to take off. All that in bad weather conditions, most times bellow the manual and book minimun conditions.

JATO's were commonly used to take off from short runways. I don't think you would earn much time taking off with JATO from a long runway. Missiles and fighters fly faster.

I hope this answer your question. Excuse my english."

A USAF Command C-130 Instructor pilot writes:

"Well, yes and no to much of the above. Given enough runway, you can land or take off with a tailwind no problem. More tailwind means more runway needed, but there's nothing impossible about it. Above a certain point it's not too smart, but where that point is depends on a lot of variables: wind speed, aircraft weight (heavier = longer distances to accellerate and also to stop), aircraft performance (better engines = quicker takeoffs, better brakes = shorter landings), weather conditions (high altitude field / hot day = longer distances, esp for takeoffs), runway condition (pavement = better braking than dirt, dry better than wet, etc), and a few other factors.

I'm pretty sure that no Air Force slick C-130 units still use JATO. Nor are they likely to: the rockets are hazardous equipment, about like munitions, and that's just a pain to deal with; it'd be an extra training & currency requirement, and it really doesn't get you that much -- about any field you can land on you can usually get out of in a Herk (tho you probably are using everything you have to do it -- i.e. into the wind both ways). So I don't think the answer to your question is ever going to be JATO. As far as having people take off downwind, it all depends. With a dry 4000' strip and an empty plane about half full of gas, yeah, I could probably accept a 10 knot tailwind on most days. But, same strip, wet from rain, with stuff still on the plane and more gas, gusty winds, and a hot day, it's very possible I'd say "no way!" Also, it depends on war vs peace, who's shooting at me off of each end of the runway, how desperately do you need the extra cargo, am I a "mortar magnent" while on the ground, etc etc etc. Besides, taking off opposite direction tends to put you "beak- to- beak" with the next guy in line to land -- not much fun!

Another variable, not all Herks are the same -- new planes have better engines and better brakes (3000 psi vs 2300 psi); what might be comfortable in an H3 might be scary in an E, especially on a hot day. And what's comfortable to one crew with lots of experience might not be comfortable to a younger crew (and they've got every right, especially in peacetime training, to reject anything they aren't comfortable taking, regardless of what somebody else was OK with).

So, to answer the original question,

Can the C-130 turn around and take off downwind if it had JATO rockets?

I'd say that sometimes the C-130 without JATO can take off downwind, and other times even with the JATO rockets it might be a dicey proposition. <> I'd find another way to manage the flow of stuff into the assault strip. A parallel taxiway running the full length of the strip would be an obvious (tho expensive) option.

Hope that helps."
A Vietnam combat C-130 pilot writes:

"Bear in mind that when a transport lands at a forward field in a combat environment, it is not going to come back out again with a load. The airplane will be 30-35,000 pounds lighter than when it landed, and will probably not be carrying very much fuel in the first place. Depending on the winds, the airplane can probably takeoff in the same direction from which it landed if the need arose. In SEA we were rarely on the ground longer than five minutes from touchdown to takeoff, including a combat offload of cargo. A good loadmaster can empty an airplane in less time than it takes to tell it once they have the hang of it.

As for JATO, I don't think it has ever been used operationally in C-130s except for the ski-birds in Alaska. Most JATO takeoffs throughout the history of the airplane have been performed at airshows. JATO was a big deal in the 1950s when airplanes like the B-47 used thousands of feet to get off the ground with a load, but the short field performance of the C-130 negated its value and they system was rarely used in operational squadrons. "

A USAF command pilot with JATO experience writes:

"JATO is great (and necesary) for getting C-130D's (and other ski-birds) off the ice and other than that, is really fun for short take-off demos on dirt runways at airshows. In 1963 or 1964, we took a brand new C-130E into Cannon AFB, downloaded the fuel to about 10,000 lbs, strapped eight JATO bottles on it and went out to the range and landed on a short dirt strip out on the gunnery range during a Firepower demonstration. Landed uphill toward the grandstands, lots of dust and noise as we got real close to the end of the dirt strip just short of the grandstands, turned around, pushed the power levers up to max power, released the brakes, accelerated down the 'strip' and when we hit minimum control speed, hit the JATO button and rotated to about 60 degrees nose up. People in the crowd said it was the most awesome thing they've ever seen. They said on runup, the airplane disappeared in a huge cloud of dust, then out of the cloud of dust comes this huge airplane going what looks like straight up and trailing fire. In the cockpit, we were all assholes and elbows trying to get the nose back down after 15 sec. when the JATO ran out, but we carried it off and got back to Cannon OK. Caught a little bit of flack from the fighter guys for stealing the show, but hey, what's new? I was the CP, the AC was Txxx Jxxxx. From Oklahoma."

An arctic C-130 command pilot writes:

"I can't speak for procedures in the 'new and improved' Air Force. However, I have done around a 'zillion' ski takeoffs using JATO on the C-130. We never worried about its explosive properties...we had worse things to consider. The ski model flight manual states, 'Takeoffs and Landings on the Greenland Ice Cap are deemed to be a calculated risk.'

One thing we hated was attaching JATO bottles while on the ice cap at ten 'zillion' below...everyone helped hoist them up. I can tell you this, the ski models do need JATO to get off the snow at times (and, even with 200-300 mile "ski ways). :-) With a heavy load, "ski port" elevations around 9,000 ft., and sticky snow, one needs JATO at times and it does help quite a bit. In fact, one can get into the air at times with JATO when nothing else works. We tried it all...including trying to take off in the same tracks several pack the snow down, etc. All of our lift offs were well below VMC...

All JATO and ski training was done at the squadron level...OJT. We didn't have a 'school house' for that... ...just a 'pucker factor'....

I agree that the runway should be offset from directly into the wind. In the "olden days," the C-130 "drivers" were required to land on semi-prepared strips around Ft. Campbell, Pope, etc. The short assault strips were dirt which had been graded more or less smooth. After the first plane landed, the strip was obscured with dust. The only thing I remember was, as a new copilot, that we landed as soon as we could barely see the approach END of the strip. There are some C-130 seat cushions somewhere out there with "donut holes" cut into them. ;-) I could envision meeting another acft. around half way down the strip...either coming or blowing dust...

Hopefully, things have gotten better in the 'new and improved' military...."

The conclusion here is: change our Air Landing/Ground tactical plans to perfect a downwind Air Traffic Control and Airlanding technique and retrofit JATO mounts onto ALL C-130s now in use. Combat Controllers can extend the legs of a left hand ATC pattern to maintain aircraft seperation. According to the U.S. Army IPD subcourse, IN 0758 Edition B Fundamentals of Airborne Operations the: "landing plan is informal not published". This is a mistake, greater attention must be paid to it so we can speed airlanding operations, to include FAST, EFFICIENT, Engine-Running Off-loads (EROs) of Army M113A3-type tracked AFVs of the new Brigade Combat Teams to minimize the MOG rate time loss and get more combat power on the ground.

Major Greg Petrequin, USAF Tactical Air Liaison Officer (TALO) says an Army/AF airdrop practical disconnect exists in his superb Air University research paper:


What he writes is very true...Army DZSTs need AN/PRC-113 FM/UHF radios to be able to talk to USAF aircrews in flight; but the primary disconnect is between Army FM 57-38 Pathfinding and USAF AFI 13-217 Assault Zone Procedures not just FM 57-220 and AFI 13-217.

We should get the Army and the AF on the "same sheet of music"...all the Airborne/Air Assault manuals should be updated at the same time and with coordination---Army Pathfinder manual manual is long over-due....FM 57-38 should have fixed-wing aircraft assault zone information from AFI 13-217 published inside...the manual covers helicopters airlanding, why not fixed-wing aircraft? noone is suggesting Army Pathfinders take the place of USAF CCTs, but to be INFORMED of how that type of operation is conducted...Compare the various manuals concerning airdrop/airland:

U.S. Air Force

AFI 13-217 Assault Zone Procedures (1999)

U.S. Army

FM 57-38 Pathfinding (1993)

FM 57-220 Static-Line Parachuting (1996)

FM 90-4 Air Assault operations

FM 90-26 Airborne operations

82d Airborne SOP

101st Air Assault "Gold book"


C-17 Adkins Assault Landing Zone @ Fort Picket, Va: semi-prepared strips needed

Also note that U.S. Army PATHFINDER school doesn't teach fixed-wing airlanding Assault Zone procedures/techniques---this should be rectified by adding a block of instruction derived from the Army PF cadre attending CCT training and/or the AFIADL(formerly ECI) Correspondence course (enrollment info provided below on this web page).


A C-130 Command pilot with combat airlift experience writes:

"...should the strip be laid out into the prevailing winds or not? During Desert Strike in 1963, 12 C-130's launched at five minute intervals from Pt Magu NAS to a desert strip for an air assault mission. The strip was laid out into the wind, which was blowing gently right down the runway. The first bird in used full reverse to stop on the rather short field, and the resulting dust cloud completely obscured the field for about 15 minutes. The rest of the mission aircraft started to back up in informal holding patterns waiting for the dust to clear. It was chaos to say the least. The lesson learned and probably forgotten was to offset the runway 30 degrees or so to allow the dust to blow sideways off the strip and allow operations to continue more or less unrestricted. I have no idea what the manual says about selection of an assault landing strip today, but I think you need to take that dust cloud into your considerations. It was this same concern about the ground environment that caused me to include a requirement for 'powered wheels' in the 1970 AMST TAC ROC 52-69. Envision an airplane landing and then shutting down all engines while moveing about on the ground with powered wheels. Of course, the idea was propably not practical when the engineers calculated the size of the drive system needed. Anyway it never came to anything. I can tell you that every time I see a picture of the C-17 operating on a dirt landing field, all I can see is the humongous dust cloud in the background. What a great aiming point for enemy mortars!!!

One of the contributing factors to the Desert One collision was the immense amount of dust kicked up because the C-130s had to keep their engines running out of fear of not being able to restart them. The C-130 now has water landing pontoons that can be added. Why not a set of powered wheels that lower to the ground with the rear ramp to propel the C-130 forward without need of the engines on? With powered wheels, the C-130 can taxi back with engines OFF or in low idle to an upwind take-off point if needed--even by backing up in reverse---without obscuring the assault strip for minutes afterwards. Below is my conception of this modified rear ramp which could be retrofitted to ALL C-130s.

The C-17 can back up by special reverse thrusters, why not the Herk? Power ramp wheels if done right could also help the ramp withstand more roll on/off weights. The next Generation of Herks should land by Air Cushions or tracks (see pic above) to reduce the ground pressure as well as move over the ground without need of propwash. In WWII, an experimental caterpillar track main undercarriage was tested on A-20C serial number 41-19158.


USAF CCTs and U.S. Army Attack PATHFINDERs (AATs) should have a small water trailer towed by small ParaGator 2x4 vehicles to run over the assault zone with a water mist and anti-dust chemicals to keep the dust down during airland operations. Or perhaps a condensor to draw water from the air on selected Herks to lay a water mist down onto dusty assault zones?



Another bad reality is that when you land high-ground pressure rubber-tired aircraft onto dirt assault zones, they rut the surface. As shown above from the southern Afghan airbase, engineers will have to constantly resurface the runways to prevent dust and ruts, taking time and effort. Refer to the report at the bottom of this page. So while wheeled aircraft can land onto dirt assault zones, it would be much better if they had TRACKED or ideally air cushion landing systems so the surface condition of the area will not be a limiting factor.

Concrete runway fixed air bases are vulnerable and must be avoided! Otherwise enemy surveillance strike complexes (SSCs) could wipe out our air forces on the ground!

However until we can make our aircraft more expeditionary via tracked/air cushion landing gears, we can operate from assault zone dirt runways by COATING THEM with Envirotec II also known as "Rhino Snot".


Special Operations Technology Online Archives

This article was Originally Published on Jul 13, 2004 in Volume: 2 Issue: 4

Preventing Brownout


Please, Get Snooty

"As everyone knows, this stuff saves lives," said Justin Vermillion, vice president, Environmental Products and Applications Inc. He's been getting lots of calls from the military for his Envirotac II as America's commitment to desert combat becomes protracted. With the majority of aerial accidents attributed to brownouts, chemical treatments that keep the dust down are getting serious attention.

Vermillion's acrylic polymer dirt control solution has been in high demand and given him some insight into the mobile military's dust dilemma. "The Army needs to extend the life of its equipment, and after we've sprayed the kinds of surfaces they are trying to land on with our polymer, we really increase that assurance level," he said. Camp Rhino in Afghanistan had a serious need to reduce brownouts. There, troops began using the Envirotac II as a soil stabilizer and nicknamed it "Rhino Snot." The substance soaks into the ground to around 3/4 of an inch and has been landed on by C-17s, C-5s and several makes of helicopter.

But tank treads can pull up the polymer, said Vermillion. "But tanks will pull up asphalt, too. It's best for aircraft-we liked the moniker of `rhino snot' so much we immediately put a copyright on it. The imagery's accurate in terms of toughness for the desert runway and ramp environment. It's a much cheaper way to go than replacing multi-million dollar aircraft after one of the mini-dust storms a helicopter will kick up.

"Our experience is that this silty sand can actually cause fires. So there is a real need to develop something solid to land on. We're looking at around five cents per square foot," he said. During initial operations in March 2003, brownouts plagued helicopters and other aircraft landing in the Iraqi climate, causing several crashes. Headlines/ENR/20020225b.asp

During the month the base was in use, heavy transport aircraft, including the 585,000-lb Globemaster C-17s, arrived nightly. Their landing gear gouged huge gashes into the unpaved surface. Cooke says the big planes left ruts 18 in. deep and their wash blasted oceans of soil into the air. "This kind of soil and terrain is pretty common in that part of the world, but when it is hit by an aircraft it is more like moon dust and talcum powder than sand," Cooke says. "When a plane lands it pulverizes what little hardpan is on the land. It's more like fireplace ash."

Helicopter pilots throughout the theater of operations are plagued by blinding brown-outs as they return, resulting in hard landings and broken landing gear. Some crashes resulted in injuries and fatalities. At Rhino, the Seabees improved helicopter landing pads using scrap metal and clay. Maintaining the helicopters was complicated by their stations close to the dust-choked runway, a position needed to keep the security perimeter tight.

Cooke says the Seabees did a lot of seat-of-the-pants engineering but as soon as they established satellite communications over SIPRNET, an Internet protocol router network for classified communications, and NIPRNET, an unclassified channel, they started long-range collaboration. "We were looking for assistance for engineering-drilling a well, stabilizing the dirt runway, controlling the dust," says Cooke. "We were sending images back and forth over the SIPRNET nonstop, along with urgent requests for parts.

"We had so little equipment there we had to have critical priority on parts," he says. If a grader broke down and runway maintenance fell behind it could have interrupted the airlift and compromised the mission. "The mechanics stayed out there with the operators. Sometimes right on the runway we had to do maintenance to keep them running," Cooke says.

One of the Seabees' first tasks was to dig a 6-ft-deep test pit by the runway, digitally photograph the wall and transmit the image back to supporting engineers in Bahrain and Hawaii for geotechnical advice. The Seabees also needed water badly, and asked for help in finding it.

Supporting engineers accessed NIMA's data, studied the remote imagery and geology of the area and came back and told the Seabees where to drill. But there was a catch. In order to tap groundwater, supporting engineers told them they would probably have to drill to 600 ft to meet their needs. After considering the probable length of the mission, the time it would take to drill and the logistics of flying in equipment and enough 10-in. casing and 4-in. draw tube for the job, Cooke says the Seabees decided that flying in "bulkwater" made more sense. "We decided to try and squeak by without it," Cooke says.

Water was needed for dust control and runway repair. Cooke says the top 3 ft of lakebed was like clayless moon dust. Below that, however, there was some clay. "So between landings we dug borrow pits off the side of the runway to find that clay...took whatever bulkwater we had and created improved dirt patches on the runway," Cooke says.

At dawn each day they started repairs by scraping away the previous night's rutted surface. Then, they would pick the worst spot and rebuild it by laying down a 3- or 4-in. layer of clay, wetting it, rolling it, and repeating the process over and over again. They could improve 400 ft to 600 ft each day this way, and the patch would last four or five nights before it was trashed again. It helped, but it was a stop-gap method and not a solution. With more than 6,000 ft of runway, the Seabees were not exactly gaining.

After time, the entire runway began sinking to the point where a front-end loader had to follow the graders to pick up the spoil and throw it over the growing berm along the side. The airstrip also began taking on a concave profile from the wheels tracking down the center, a circumstance that required additional periodic grading to restore flatness.

The machines worked the runway from sunup to sundown and between landings at night. "Whoever landed first each night got a pretty good ride. Everybody else had to pay the price," Cooke says.

At the same time, supporting engineers in Hawaii were tracking down a dust control product called Envirotac II that had been tried on marine maneuvers in Arizona a few years earlier. Justin Vermillion, vice president of Environmental Products and Applications Inc., Envirotac's Wildomar, Calif., manufacturer, says he began to get a series of phone calls and urgent requests for test samples.

The product is a syrupy "goo" that is mixed with water and applied as a top dressing to harden loose soil, he says. Vermillion's sample was quickly approved, and by Dec. 12 he had filled two 5,500-gal bulk trucks with the product and driven to a waiting C-17 at March Air Force Base in Riverside, Calif. Lacking the plastic containers needed for air-shipping the product, Vermillion says they picked up 206 used Pepsi drums from a feed store's horse trough inventory on the way to the airport and packaged the hardening agent on the runway as marines loaded the plane.

"Everything was from the hip, we didn't get PO numbers or anything," he says. "I didn't know it was going to Camp Rhino until afterward."

When it arrived, Vermillion says he got a telephone call from a Seabee engineer at Rhino. Cooke says they called because the kind of application they had in mind wasn't exactly covered in the product literature. "We were looking for a little insanity check," Cooke says.

Vermillion says he also learned the marines took to calling his product "Rhino Snot." That was all it took to give the product, which already had some other nicknames, a new moniker. The name stuck and so did the runway.

Environmental Products & Applications, Inc.
Manufacturer of Envirotac II Soil Stabilizer
73-710 Fred Waring Drive, Suite 220
Palm Desert, CA 92260
Phone: (888) 674-9174
Fax: (760) 779-1815
Mobile: (909) 908-3052


Roy Ardillo writes: Survey the roads, plan where to place the equipment, fly the people and equipment in on lighter planes, and fly in the heavy lifters. It is my understanding that the C-17 can turn around within its own arc. But, it would make much more sense to me to have a runway part, an offloading part and a takeoff part.

If the planes land and take off into the wind, then this would solve the problems of ramp space, too. Gravel can be brought in to the offload area to get the equipment quickly away from the area.

I think it would look like this.

I===============I----------I===============I <-------wind

2 x 3,000 foot highway section plus off load area ahead. C-130 or C-17 taxies all the way to FORWARD END of offload area; offloads. We could easily have 4 planes off-loading...just like a LAND-BASED AIRCRAFT CARRIER. Do off-loads fast (TAFVs are inside or push pallets off) and planes shuttle forward to take-off runway section---NO NEED TO TURN AROUND AT ALL AND TAXI DOWNWIND FOR UPWIND TAKE-OFF.

When not receiving USAF transports, we're only talking about 1,000 foot or less for Army AY-65 armored crop dusters, A-37s and OV-1 Mohawks doing this all the time from the land-based aircraft carrier.

USAF Correspondance Course Enrollment for learning Combat Control Tactics, Techniques, Procedures

1. Go to this site

2. On the left side of the screen you will see "Click here to open or close menu"

3. Click on the Air Force seal (an expandable menu will be visible)

4. Click on Course Catalog for courses to select;

Examples: (you will need 2 ECI Form 23s for the CCT Course)

1C251A - Combat Control Journeyman 1C251B - Combat Control Journeyman

5. Go back and Click on Student Administration

6. Click on Forms

7. Click on Downloadable Forms

8. Scroll down until you see ECI Form 23

9. You can then print out the form from there or here:

9. Complete ECI Form 23 (Example shown below)

Item 1 AFIADL Course Number Desired:

1C251A - Combat Control Journeyman

Item 2 SSAN: 123-45-6789

Item 3 Identity Category: 8

Marine-ACT/RES Q
Coast Guard-ACT/RES H
Reg AF - OFF 5
Reg AF - AMN 6
Foreign Military F
Army - ACT/RES/NG 8
U.S. Civilians P
Navy - ACT/RES 9
International Civilians S

Item 4 Name:

Sam Lee Damon

Item 5 Reason for Enrollment:


Code L-MANDATORY ENROLLMENT: Active duty Air Force, Guard, and Reserve personnel enrolling as required by regulations, manual, or other directive, i.e., those engaged in upgrade, lateral, qualification, or retraining programs under AFI 36-2201. NOTE: AFIADL Form 23 should not be used. Civilians of the international countries enrolling in job related CDCs must be enrolled as mandatory students using an AFIADL Form 23. Enrollment application should state "Employee of the US Government".

Code N-VOLUNTARY ENROLLMENT: Members of other military services, U.S. Civil Service (including non-appropriated fund) and USAF contractor employees (eligible IAW ETCA, Section F, Paragraph 6.9). Red Cross and other volunteers must include the statement: "Volunteer Worker". Active duty Air Force, Guard, and Reserve personnel enrolling in specialized or PME courses.

Item 6 Pay Grade:


Item 7 Testing Control Facility (TCF) Phone (DSN):


Item 8 Address:

POB 1234 Fayetteville, NC 28307

Item 9 Test Control Facility (where you will take test) Zip code/shred of TCF:


Item 10 Course Title:

Combat Control Journeyman

Item 11 Signature and Title of Approving Official:

LTC Courtney Massengale

NOTE: Applications must be complete and accurate. Student enrollments and course records are computer processed. The student record file is maintained in course and SSAN sequence. Unless all necessary information is complete and accurate, the computer will reject the enrollment. Accuracy is imperative for enrollment processing.

10. Mail or fax it to the Registrar's office

Air Force Institute for Advanced Distributed Learning (AFIADL)
50 South Turner Blvd
Maxwell AFB-Gunter Annex AL 36118-5643

If you have any other questions concerning enrollment, you may contact the Registrar, Ms. Carol Smith at DSN 493-8128 or commercial (334) 953-8128 or through e-mail (

Webmaster: Mrs. Evelyn B. Milton, AFIADL/DT [] DSN 596-3370 Comm 334-416-3370

Registrar's Mailing address:

Student Administration Branch
50 S. Turner Blvd
MAFB-Gunter Annex AL 36118-5643
Fax number: DSN 596-6143 or Comm 334-416-6143
More Mike Sparks bullshit. As usual, he has his facts wrong and as usual he's out of left field with his ideas. I wish the Guard (or was it the Reserves?) would have had the resolve that the Marine Corps did and not let him commission. Dude needs more tin foil and someone should take his word processor away from him.