The Boeing Company delivered the 47th C-17 Globemaster III cargo aircraft to the U.S. Air Force in a short ceremony here today. Maj. Gen. John Batbie, commander of the 22nd Air Force, Dobbin Reserve Air Base, Ga., took delivery of the new airlifter and flew it to its new home at Charleston Air Force Base, S.C.
The aircraft, called "The Spirit of Middle Georgia," will be the center of attention in a ceremony next month in its namesake locale. More than 700 Georgians at the Boeing facility in Macon, Ga., produce subassemblies for the Globemaster III. Georgia Congressman Saxby Chambliss suggested the name in a memorandum to the Air Force.
President Bill Clinton and Commerce Secretary William Daley presented the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Feb. 4 to The Boeing Company Airlift and Tanker Programs, builder of the C-17. The award signifies a strong commitment to quality and is intended to enhance competitiveness by promoting quality awareness and achievements of U.S. companies and publicizing successful performance strategies. Today's aircraft is the 35th consecutive C-17 delivered ahead of schedule. The Air Force fleet has compiled more than 120,000 flying hours.
The U.S. 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 to budget for an additional 14 C-17s for special operations.