A More Direct Route

A C-17 loaded with supplies for troops in Afghanistan flew a new route from Ramstein AB, Germany, to Manas AB, Kyrgyzstan on Oct. 7, becoming the first Air Force transport to traverse Russian airspace under a new transit agreement signed between the US and Russia in July. This C-17 delivered nearly 50 thousand pounds of cargo. Under the transit agreement, the US military is allowed to move personnel and equipment in up to 4,500 flights per year, saving up to $133 million annually in fuel, maintenance, and other transportation costs. “We’ve been working through the requirements for new flight routings and diplomatic clearances to take advantage of the new agreement,” said Lt. Col. Jim Allen, chief of the diplomatic clearance and flight plans division in Air Mobility Command’s 618th Tanker Airlift Control Center at Scott AFB, Ill. (Scott report by Capt. Justin Brockhoff)