Based on the technical feasibility test's results and an approved recommendation for a safety confirmation from the Yuma Test Center, the DTC on 10 October 2006 approved a safety release to support Soldier operational use of the LCLA family of parachute systems from a C-23 during the 4th BCT's JRTC mission rehearsal exercise in early November.
Following the initial testing, and approved safety confirmation, LCLA parachutes were tested successfully from CH-47 Chinook and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters by ATEC's Operational Test Command Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate at Fort Bragg in February and May 2007.
Follow-on testing of the LCLA parachute systems from the CASA-212 aircraft were successfully completed by the DTC at Yuma in July 2007 and resulted in an amendment to the C-23 safety release to include the CASA-212.
In just 16 months, the LCLA project team moved from an idea on paper to a capability that is sustaining and supporting combat operations in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).
Using LCLA also increases Soldier survivability by reducing the number of ground convoys exposed to hostile enemy actions.
Across the board, LCLA parachute systems have far exceeded all established performance metrics.
The aircraft used to conduct LCLA drops in Afghanistan is the CASA 212.
Currently, LCLA aircraft teams consist of tour airborne-qualified personnel, at least two of whom need to be qualified jumpmasters.
The modifications made to the RAM were based on the differences in delivery between the Air Force CDS and the LCLA.
PURPOSE AND BENEFITS (REASONS TO CONDUCT LCLA OPERATIONS): Simplicity:
LCLA operations can resupply platoon-size units during missions when normal sustainment delivery means are impossible due to the factors of METT-TC (mission, enemy, terrain, troops, time, civilians).
As an evolving process that has become quite refined by the 782nd BSB, LCLA operations are quite simplistic in nature.