[FoRK] Global Strategic Aid Bombing

J. Andrew Rogers andrew
Sat Sep 3 00:36:17 PDT 2005

On 9/2/05 7:58 PM, "kelley at inkworkswell.com" <kelley at inkworkswell.com>
> I don't know. I heard some tool this morning, trying to convince a
> newsjoker that the reason we can't airdrop is that they'd be shoving
> pallets out of planes. Right. He then said, to illustrate why it was a bad
> idea, that they'd air dropped aid in for cattle. (!!!) When they flew over,
> they discovered that some of the cattle had died when the bales of hay
> landed on them.

Well, sadly, there is a hell of a lot of truth to this.  Like most other
safety measures the military uses, this one was put in place because there
actually have been incidents where people died in airdrops.  No accounting
for the species.  Those pallets are heavy and can smash a lot of structure,
parachute or no.  I do not know anything about cattle getting smashed but it
would not surprise me.

The other two obvious problems is that 1) pallets have a high probability of
landing underwater where it does not do anyone any good, and 2) there is no
way to distribute the contents of said pallets when they do land in many
cases.  Airdropping pallets of supplies randomly into a large lake is not an
effective use of resources, no matter how good it makes you feel to be
"doing something".

They have landed pallets of supplies in many of the places where they would
do some good.  Randomly bombing New Orleans with pallets of supplies is a
ridiculous Monty Python-esque waste of resources.  Never mind being insanely

While I'm sure they could custom design tiny floating aid packages that they
could spread over the region, they've never had the need in the past and you
can't put such things together in a couple days.

J. Andrew Rogers

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