The Indian Air Force flew its first C-17 to India this week, becoming the newest operator of the Boeing-built airlifter, announced the company. “We have looked forward to this day,” said Indian Air Vice Marshal SRK Nair, assistant chief of air staff operations (transport and helicopters), in Boeing’s June 11 release. The C-17, which completed a flight test program at Edwards AFB, Calif., left for India on that day. India ordered 10 C-17s in mid-2011 under a foreign military sales arrangement. Boeing is on track to deliver four more C-17s this year and the remaining five in 2014, states the release. “The C-17 will equip the Indian Air Force with amongst the world’s most advanced humanitarian and strategic capabilities,” said Nair. “Congratulations to the Indian Air Force on this milestone as India joins the worldwide community of C-17 operators,” said Tommy Dunehew, Boeing’s vice president of business development for mobility, surveillance, and engagement. (See also Indian C-17 Maintainers Train at Charleston.)
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.