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557th ERHS crushes initial cargo load of rock crusher

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Greg Erwin
  • 379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

The 557th Expeditionary Red Horse Squadron saw the culmination of a two-year long mission to plan the transport of a rock crusher system in five parts – the heaviest piece via sea and four via cargo lift – March 10-24, 2021, at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar.

The equipment is designed to take large rocks and break them into smaller sizes for making base layers in construction projects – like airfields or new buildings – or for making concrete to supplement repair projects in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. Once the rocks are broken down, they pass over screens that separate the rocks into various piles for use.

“This is the first time this equipment is being used,” said Tech. Sgt. Phillip Wilson-Sims, 557th ERHS noncommissioned officer in charge of air cargo movement. “It’s only the second time equipment like this has flown, but the first time for this specific model.”

The equipment is set to assist in multiple projects in the AOR, saving nearly $800,000 in costs. It will also provide the U.S. Army quarry team 18-24 months of training experience with the new system, further strengthening the interoperability between the services in the joint warfighting domain.

“The five pieces were a combined 260,000 pounds, and three of the parts required a custom ramp system in order to be loaded onto the aircraft,” Wilson-Sims explained. “The team did a fantastic job of working the long hours needed to complete the task.”

Each of the pieces took approximately four hours to set up, load the cargo and break down the ramps. The mission was a multiple-base effort, with some of the ramps built at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, and shipping coordinated between Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait, and Al Udeid AB. Twenty personnel from the 1st Expeditionary Civil Engineer Group, 8th Expeditionary Air Mobility Squadron, and the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing participated with the 557th ERHS to prepare the ramps and load the rock crushers.