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BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan — The U.S. military has been able to bring down fire from the skies for decades. This month in Afghanistan, it’s delivering firewood.

Four 850-pound bundles were dropped via parachute to regions in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, the first of about 59,000 pounds of firewood the military plans to deliver in January.

Some areas of the country have received large amounts of snowfall recently. Because of the mountainous terrain and the country’s rudimentary road system, the areas are accessible only by air. The firewood drop is part of a general humanitarian effort the military is making to help Afghans through the winter.

Lt. Col. Jerry O’Hara, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-76, said the task force is well-equipped to handle such operations with its mix of aerial assets and parachute riggers.

He said the military paid $1,280 to a local vendor for the firewood it dropped Wednesday.

“Considering the average Afghan annual salary is $300, the economic benefit of this airdrop should provide considerable help to the people in those remote locations,” O’Hara said in a news release.


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