The C-17 fleet reached 3 million flight hours on May 5, according to an Air Force release. “It has become the airlifter of choice for our Air Force,” said Col. Amanda Meyers, C-17 system program director. “The incredible partnership between our Active Duty, Reserve forces, and the National Guard make the C-17 a huge enabler for the United States of America. It not only allows us to fight and win our nation’s wars, but also provide humanitarian assistance at an international level.” The Air Force owns 222 Globemaster IIIs and eight partner nations have a total of 44 of the strategic airlifters, states the release. The first C-17 made its maiden flight on Sept. 15, 1991, and the first aircraft was delivered to USAF in June 1993. Ceremonies were held at Robins AFB, Ga., and JB Charleson, S.C., to commemorate the milestone, states the release.
After a long period in which munitions were almost an afterthought and sacrificed to pay for other priorities, the Air Force needs to focus on them in order to have the right “package” of capabilities for future conflicts, Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. said June 7.