Presented to: Capt. Jason Gossett
Citation: For his ingenuity and airmanship leading to revamped airdrop procedures in the area of responsibility and expert/unshakable re-planning and navigation.
While deployed to the 15th Expeditionary Special Operations Squadron (ESOS), 27th Expeditionary Special Operations Group (ESOG), Capt. Jason Gossett created an electronic version of a sight angle chart, an improved version of the sight angle procedures used in initial navigator qualification training. The chart allows the navigator to stand in the window without contorting his/her body to get a perfect sight picture. The new chart allows the navigator to get a sight picture, call the airdrop hands free to operate the intercom system, and hold charts and mosaics. By re-creating this chart electronically, the navigator can put the program on his/her laptop used in the airplane having it available at all times. The electronic version allows for quick computations when groundspeed changes on the run-in to the drop zone.
Capt. Gossett used this electronic sight angle chart to back up 34 airdrops that his crew completed while deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). The electronic chart allowed his crew to deliver vital supplies to forward operating bases across Afghanistan with 100% success rate. For example, Capt. Gossett and his crew were tasked to resupply a Special Forces (SF) team. After the initial resupply, his crew was re-tasked in-flight to divert to an austere field to pick up bundles to be airdropped to the same SF team that was just engaged and in need of an immediate resupply. After picking up the bundles, Capt. Gossett had one hour to plan in-flight for two airdrops to two locations that were 1.6 nautical miles apart. The airdrop was conducted during daylight hours, with blowing dust, marginal visibility and in dangerous mountainous terrain with known hostile enemy intent. Using his newly designed sight angle chart, Capt. Gossett airdropped the first bundle at 150 feet above ground level (AGL) and airdropped the second bundle 17 seconds later at 300 feet AGL. Due to the extreme low altitude required for this type of bundle, Capt. Gossett and his crew throughout the entire airdrop were cresting ridges as low as 100 feet AGL with terrain at or above the aircraft within 500 feet. Both airdrops were recovered by the SF teams; landing within 25 yards of the intended point of impact.