The U.S. Air Force received its 34th Boeing C-17 Globemaster III cargo aircraft during a ceremony Oct. 2. A crew from the 437th Airlift Wing, Charleston Air Force Base, S.C., took delivery of the airplane and flew it to its South Carolina home base.
Air Mobility Command designated this airplane "The Spirit of the Air Force," in honor of September being the Air Force's 50th anniversary as a separate service (1947-1997). The official Air Force 50th anniversary logo also was painted on the airplane.
C-17s also are stationed at Altus Air Force Base, Okla. The Air Force's fleet has surpassed 65,000 flying hours and recently participated in a 20-hour, 8,000-nautical- mile airdrop operation from the U.S. East Coast to Central Asia.
The Air Force has contracted for 120 C-17s from Boeing with deliveries through 2004.