November 3, 2017 -- The U.S. Air Force has sent Tunner and Halvorsen aircraft cargo loaders to Puerto Rico in support of recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which struck the Caribbean island and U.S. territory in early October.
Both loaders are maintained under Air Force logistics contracts by Leonardo DRS Land Systems at its manufacturing facility in West Plains, Missouri. The Tunner, built originally by Leonardo DRS, can accommodate 60,000 pounds of cargo and the Halvorsen, 25,000 pounds.
Members of the Kentucky Air National Guard, augmented by airmen from the active-duty Air Force and ANG units in several states, processed more than 7.2 million pounds of humanitarian aid supplies and other cargo for distribution in the first three weeks of the operation.
The West Plains facility also shipped four fly-away GFE high-priority mission support kits to two locations in Puerto Rico in support of the loaders. Such kits of government-furnished equipment, or GFE, are stored at and deployed by Land Systems for the Air Force.
The kits provide an assortment of supplies and equipment essential to the operation of the Tunner and Halvorsen systems in rapidly loading and unloading cargo. The Leonardo DRS logistics contracts for the Tunner and Halvorsen systems include depot-level overhaul, program engineering support, and parts management.