The first of four Boeing C-17 military cargo aircraft being leased to the United Kingdom Royal Air Force arrived today at RAF Brize Norton, its new home base.
The aircraft was flown in from Charleston Air Force Base in South Carolina where it picked up support equipment. Wing Commander Malcolm Brecht, commander of the RAF's 99th Squadron, was at the controls for its delivery flight. Also on board for the historic flight was U.S. Air Force Gen. Tony Robertson, Commander in Chief, U.S. Transportation Command.
Vice Chairman Harry Stonecipher and Jerry Daniels, president and chief executive officer and president, Boeing Military Aircraft and Missile Systems, represented The Boeing Company.
"We deeply value our international teammates. Today's delivery of the first C-17 to the U.K. Royal Air Force is the latest in a long line of excellent programs that we have, and I hope just the start of many more," Stonecipher said. "Maintaining and expanding our international relationships is the key to the future of a global Boeing Company. I was honored to be a part of these ceremonies."
The Ministry of Defence announced its decision to lease the four C-17s on May 16, 2000, and the first aircraft was delivered to the U.K. customer on May 17, 2001, just one year and one day after the announcement.
"The spirit of partnership between the U.K. customer, the U.S. Air Force and the Boeing team made it possible," Daniels said. "The Boeing team is dedicated to making that spirit of partnership our way of doing business."
All four U.K.C-17s will be delivered this summer. They are being acquired on a seven-year lease arrangement, with training and maintenance support through a separate contract with the U.S. Air Force and Boeing.
The United Kingdom is the first international customer for the C-17 Globemaster III. The USAF has received 72 C-17s.