C-17 involved in rough landing and mortar attack

Blowing out 12 tires landing a C-17 in remote insurgent territory isn’t exactly considered a milk run.

Nor is being subjected to mortar fire on the ground.

But that’s what happened to a C-17 cargo plane recently after a rough landing in a remote part of Afghanistan, the Air Force said.

And while Charleston military personnel were reportedly involved in the incident, a Joint Base Charleston spokesperson could not confirm Monday if the C-17 involved is one of the estimated 53 planes assigned here.

According to Air Force media reports, the C-17 Globemaster III made a hard landing on a short runway in September as the crew was trying to re-supply Forward Operation Base Shank in the eastern Afghan province of Logar.

Once the crew got out, they saw the damage was severe: 12 flat tires, eight brakes that needed replacing and eight break temperature sensors out, the Air Force said.

A repair crew was shuttled in, and two days of repairs were started.

“After the first day of work, the team had replaced all tires, brakes and fixed all the break temperature sensors while mortar rounds sporadically hit the surrounding area,” according to the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs.

On the second day, other repair personnel crew arrived to fix a fuel leak. It was then that a mortar round landed about 150 yards away, part of the fire the base is known to get regularly.

“With all the noise on the flightline at the time, we couldn’t hear the ‘incoming’ warnings,” said Master Sgt. Roy Lee, who the Air Force said is deployed from Joint Base Charleston. “I was stepping off the aircraft when the mortar hit and I instantly felt the concussion of the explosion.”

A C-130 Hercules parked nearby was damaged.

The C-17 made it out.

Reach Schuyler Kropf at 937-5551.

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