Croatia in Talks to Join C-17 Partnership

Croatia is reportedly in talks to join the multinational Strategic Airlift Capability consortium that operates three C-17 transports out of Papa AB, Hungary. The 12-nation partnership, including the United States, NATO members, and friends, stood up in July 2009. The nations share in the costs of operating the three C-17s, with each nation purchasing a minimum number of flight hours. SAC C-17s have already been used extensively, including supporting NATO operations in Afghanistan. Croatia’s inclusion as a junior member might help alleviate some of the financial pressure on the fleet caused by Italy’s withdrawal from the partnership shortly before SAC’s heavy airlift wing began operations at Papa, reported FlightGlobal. (See also Monday’s Croatian Times report.)