A C-17 Mission Primer

Aircrews and planners who work with the C-17 strategic airlifter have a language all their own to encompass the airlifter’s many varied taskings. Basically, reports Air Force journalist TSgt. Mary Hinson, there are two categories: Tanker Airlift Control Center missions and locally tasked missions (see the chart). Under TACC, there are three subgroups, covering (1) VIP airlift from the President on down, (2) city bus type cargo runs, and (3) any thing else that may crop up. Under local taskings are training flights, whether it is a pilot practicing aerial refueling or Army paratroopers needing a jump platform. The breakdown helps the Air Force figure out who to charge. Also, since C-17s are in such heavy use, the line between the categories blurs, with the TACC pulling trainers for real-world missions.