C-17s at Home in New Roles

Air Mobility Command’s stationing of C-17s within the Southwest Asia theater has made it possible to shift the new airlifters into routine aerial drop missions, like their truly tactical brethren, the C-130s. For instance, C-17 aircrews stationed at Manas AB, Kyrgyzstan, routinely are flying large loads into Afghanistan and dropping them to coalition ground forces when and where needed. One C-17 crew at Manas had their airlifter loaded with supplies when it got tasked last minute to convert to a medical evacuation mission. The crew unloaded nine of 18 pallets and converted remaining space to aeromedical evac mode, transporting the recently found Maj. Jill Metzger back to the States.