July 12, 2011 defpro.com
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio | Boeing on July 9 joined the U.S. Air Force Reserve at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to commemorate the base's transition to the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III airlifter. Wright-Patterson, home of the 445th Airlift Wing, previously flew the C-5A Galaxy and is the latest Air Force Reserve Command unit to transition to a fleet of C-17 aircraft.
"Boeing is honored to welcome the 445th Airlift Wing to the elite group of C-17 operators that the world looks to for aid in times of crisis and troops rely on when they are called on a mission anywhere in the world," said Boeing C-17 Program Manager Bob Ciesla. "The C-17 continues to be the backbone of the U.S. Air Force's airlift capability; the aircraft have successfully completed countless military and humanitarian missions during their years of service. We know that the men and women who serve at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base can count on their C-17s to continue to perform for many years to come."
The first C-17 deployed to Wright-Patterson left Boeing's Long Beach, Calif., final assembly facility on Nov. 9, 1998, and was first assigned to Charleston Air Force Base, S.C. The 445th Airlift Wing received that C-17 on Jan. 21 and has since received four more C-17s, including one that arrived on July 8. The unit will be equipped with a total of nine C-17s by the end of fiscal year 2012.
C-17s have provided airlift capability to U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan and Iraq and deployed on every major humanitarian mission in the past decade.
"Boeing's support for the C-17 doesn’t stop when the aircraft is delivered but continues through the C-17 Globemaster III Sustainment Partnership (GSP)," said Gus Urzua, Boeing C-17 GSP vice president. "The GSP 'virtual fleet' arrangement ensures mission readiness by providing all C-17 customers with access to an extensive support network for worldwide parts availability and economies of scale when purchasing materials."
A tactical and strategic airlifter, the C-17 can land combat-ready troops in remote locations or airdrop them directly where needed. The C-17’s ability to back up allows it to operate on narrow taxiways and congested ramps. With a maximum payload of 164,900 pounds (74,797 kg), the C-17 can take off and land in 3,000 feet (914.4 m) or less.
Boeing has delivered 233 C-17s worldwide, including 22 to international customers. The U.S. Air Force -- including active duty, National Guard and Air Force Reserve units -- has taken delivery of 211 C-17s. Other customers include the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force, the Qatar Emiri Air Force, the Canadian Forces, the Royal Australian Air Force, the 12-member Strategic Airlift Capability initiative of NATO and Partnership for Peace nations, and the United Arab Emirates Air Force and Air Defence. In June, India's Ministry of Defence signed an agreement with the U.S. government to acquire 10 C-17s that will be delivered in 2013-2014.