The 44th Boeing C-17 Globemaster III cargo aircraft was delivered to the U.S. Air Force in a short ceremony here today. Brig. Gen. Richard B. Bundy, deputy director of programs, Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Programs, Headquarters, United States Air Force, Washington, D.C., took delivery of the new airlifter and flew it to its new home at Charleston Air Force Base, S.C.
The aircraft is the 32nd consecutive C-17 delivered ahead of schedule. Next year McChord Air Force Base, Wash., will begin receiving C-17s in addition to the two current locations, Charleston and Altus Air Force Base, Okla.
The C-17 fleet reached a major milestone this summer when it recorded 100,000 flight hours making it what the Air Force considers a "mature" aircraft system. This achievement, coupled with the C-17 routinely exceeding Air Force requirements for reliability and maintenance, sets the new airlift standard.
The Air Force is buying 120 of the advanced airlifters that are capable of intercontinental flight carrying 85 tons and landing on short, austere airfields. The Air Force also has stated the requirement for an additional 15 C-17s for special operations.