Stay Enamored

Fielding new tankers in the Pacific theater, as well as sufficient numbers of C-17s and F-22s will have the positive net effect of keeping nations in the region like China and North Korea more inclined to talk to the US than to seek other methods “of doing business,” Gen. Howie Chandler, commander of Pacific Air Forces, said last week. The C-17 has already “paid huge dividends” in this regard, Chandler told attendees at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 26. Last year, the Air Force dispatched C-17s loaded with humanitarian and disaster-relief supplies to China after severe winter storms and a devastating earthquake. Those deployments made quite an impression, he said, noting subsequent exchanges with two Chinese general officers. “They will tell you they will never forget what the United States did for them in terms of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief,” explained Chandler. But equally important, they wanted to know how the Air Force is able to undertake such large airlift operations so quickly, he said. The latter point, Chandler said, “is something I don’t mind them puzzling about, quite frankly.” He added that, “It is interesting to watch them really be enamored.”