U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Ryan accepted the 70th Boeing
C-17 Globemaster III for the U.S. Air Force in a ceremony here Tuesday.
The general addressed several hundred Boeing employees outside the C-17 assembly building before flying the newest C-17 to McChord Air Force Base, Tacoma, Wash. This was the 13th and last delivery for this year.
The general praised both the aircraft and the workers who design and build it, saying, "In the last decade, the C-17 has become a great workhorse." It's a great bird of war and a great bird of peace. It has led the fleet for most of our operations, such as in Bosnia and Kosovo. It's helped us bed down in 21 locations we've never been before.
"But it's also helped with humanitarian operations in Mozambique, and helped our allies in East Timor," he added. "During Operation Allied Force it did both - support a major air war while flying missions to help the Albanian refugees. That's a great achievement."
The aircraft also carried some holiday cheer in its cargo bay, which was loaded with gifts for needy families donated by Boeing employees. The gifts will be distributed by McChord Air Force Base charity organizations.
Boeing is scheduled to deliver nine C-17s to the U.S. Air Force in 2001 and four to the United Kingdom.