Getting Ready for the Heavy Lifting

The Air Force’s C-17 Aircrew Training Center at Altus AFB, Okla., is preparing the airmen from the NATO-led multinational heavy airlift wing (HAW) that will operate three C-17s starting later this year out of Papa AB, Hungary, in support of the alliance. Over the course of this year, more than 24 foreign aircrew members will come to Altus to learn how to safely and effectively operate the C-17. They are from the nine NATO members and two partnership for peace countries that are participating with the US in the joint C-17 wing under NATO’s strategic airlift capability initiative. “[The HAW] is highly visible politically so it is really important that this works,” said Norwegian Maj. Christian Langfeldt, who will be the wing’s director of operations.” The first class of foreign C-17 aircrews is slated to graduate June 5. The first of the wing’s three C-17s is scheduled to fly for the first time that same month. The training that the foreign aircrew members will receive is almost exactly what US Air Force students receive during pilot initial qualification, said Maj. Bernie Allemeier, Airlift Student Flight commander. (Altus report by SrA. Clinton Atkins)