Boeing last week delivered the Royal Air Force’s eighth C-17 transport during a ceremony at the company’s assembly plant in Long Beach, Calif. “We’re proud to support the Royal Air Force in providing for the mobility needs of their great nation,” said Bob Ciesla, Boeing’s C-17 program manager, in the company’s May 18 release. The British defense ministry contracted for the eighth C-17 in March. “I’m honored and delighted to deliver the Royal Air Force’s newest C-17 to join the fleet at Number 99 Squadron, where our seven C-17s are in constant demand flying missions in support of defense and other government agencies’ requirements,” said RAF Wing Cmdr. David Manning, who commands 99 Squadron. The RAF received its first C-17 in 2001 They operate from RAF Brize Norton. So far, the British C-17 fleet has amassed more than 74,000 flight hours, 15 percent above the projected rate, according to Boeing. With this delivery, Boeing has now supplied 242 C-17s worldwide, including 216 to the US Air Force, said company officials.
While some of the Air Force's newly announced changes will happen quickly, it may take most of Chief of Staff Gen. David W. Allvin's tenure in the job to accomplish the rest, he said in a Brookings Institution event Feb. 28.