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New Year’s Eve Over Iraq: For the Air Force Reserve Command C-130 aircrew from the 731st Airlift Squadron, Peterson AFB, Colo., flying into Balad AB, Iraq, on New Year’s eve, the mission was just another night sortie, one of many they have flown on this tour in Southwest Asia. On this one, they were hauling a 13,000-pound payload, comprising 13 passengers, oxygen, mail, and a pallet of life-saving blood. According to photojournalist MSgt. Lance Cheung, such sorties seem routine, but one of the loadmaster’s jobs is to scan for incoming missile attacks.