Boeing delivered the 28th and final C-17 simulator to the Air Force, completing the service’s Globemaster III aircrew training network with a sim for the West Virginia Air National Guard’s 167th Airlift Wing. “Receiving our simulator avoids sending our local crews on temporary duty at other bases around the country to keep up their flying certifications,” Lt. Col. John Poland of the 167th AW said in a company release. Boeing delivered the first C-17 simulator to JB Charleston, S.C., in 1992, and has since constructed 14 training centers for the Air Force, according to the company. “Boeing’s simulator enables greater training efficiency while reducing aircraft operating costs and increasing the readiness of our servicemen and servicewomen,” added Poland. The company has built international centers for C-17 customers Australia, the United Arab Emirates, and ?the United Kingdom, and is working on a fourth for India. The 167th AW completed a conversion from the C-5 to the C-17 earlier this year.
The Air Force will begin its 71st annual Operation Christmas Drop on Dec. 4. The weeklong exercise is a yearly tradition that delivers supplies such as food, fishing equipment, school books, and clothes to remote islands in the Pacific. It is the longest-running Department of Defense humanitarian mission.