Heavy Lifting USAF-less

For the first time since its standup in July 2009, the Strategic Airlift Capability’s Heavy Airlift Wing at Papa AB, Hungary, staged a C-17 combat mission last week with an all-international crew and no US Air Force personnel onboard. “To outside observers, this mission looks like any mission we have flown in our short history,” said USAF Col. John Zazworsky, HAW commander, in a Papa release. But to those involved with the 12-nation wing, “this mission is a significant milestone” since it demonstrated the multinational unit’s continuing maturity, he added. The crew for the historic flight was made up of three Swedes, two Norwegians, one Bulgarian, and one Pole. These airmen moved cargo to Afghanistan for ISAF. On this same Nov. 18 mission, their aircraft became the first of the HAW’s three C-17s to amass more than 1,000 total flight hours. Overall, the wing’s three C-17s have flown for nearly 2,800 hours.