Next Month:

Pacific Air Forces expects to see its new C-17 strategic airlift force at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, reach initial operational capability next month when it has four of the new aircraft on board. The base got its first one in June, but even before it receives the final four—slated to arrive by November—the 517th Airlift Squadron and its associate the Air National Guard’s 249th AS plan to start flying missions outside the state in September, reports Fred Baker with American Forces Press Service. The addition of the long range, heavy lift C-17s to Alaska means PACAF can provide airlift to “any critical point n the world in less than 10 hours,” says Lt. Col. Dave Almand, commander of the 517th AS.