A C-17 Dream Come True

The 12 nations partnered in the Strategic Airlift Capability effort will have their first of three new C-17s at Papa Air Base in Hungary later this month, according to a Boeing release covering the July 14 ceremony for the C-17 at the company’s final assembly facility in Long Beach, Calif. The SAC endeavor includes 10 NATO nations—Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, and the US—and two Partnership for Peace countries—Finland and Sweden. Speaking at the ceremony, USAF Col. John Zazworsky, who will be the first to command the SAC’s multinational Heavy Airlift Wing, said, “I salute the 12 nations that have joined together to form the Strategic Airlift Capability.” He added that the three C-17s would “save lives around the world.” Also at the ceremony, Gunnar Borch, general manager for the NATO Airlift Management Agency, said: “We’ve dreamed about this day for many years, and now it’s here.” He continued, “This historic partnership shows how much can be accomplished when nations work together to achieve a common goal.” The SAC team plans to activate the HAW on July 27, when the unit’s first C-17 will touch down at Papa Air Base. Boeing expects to deliver the other two C-17s in September and October.