The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] today delivered the first of four C-17 Globemaster IIIs to the Canadian Forces during a ceremony at the company's Long Beach, Calif., C-17 manufacturing facility.
"Boeing again has made good on our commitment to provide world-class airlift capability to our customer in world-record time," said Dave Bowman, C-17 program vice president, before senior Canadian officials and more than 1,000 C-17 employees. "This is yet another great day for Boeing and demonstrates our ability to design, build, deliver and support the world's most advanced airlifter."
The Canadian government recently reactivated its 429 Transport Squadron, based at 8 Wing/Canadian Forces Base Trenton, Ontario, to operate the C-17 fleet. The squadron, which dates back to World War II, also will be responsible for day-to-day aircraft maintenance.
"The test flights are over, our flight crews are trained, the Maple Leaf is painted on the fuselage of Canada One, and the first of our four C-17s is ready to come home," said Dan Ross, Canada's Assistant Deputy Minister for Materiel. "Today's delivery ceremony marks a new stage in Canada's ability to provide strategic airlift and support of our military, humanitarian operations and, most specifically, to Afghanistan."
The Canadian C-17 has unique markings, differentiating it from U.S. Air Force C-17s previously delivered by Boeing. Those markings include the word "Canada" above the entry door, small and large Canadian flags on the fuselage and tail, respectively, and a Canadian maple leaf on the aft part of the fuselage. The jet also displays the Canadian Forces' signature, "Canadian Forces…Forces Canadiennes." The signature appears in both English and French to honor the country's bilingual heritage.
Canada becomes the third international C-17 customer, following the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force. Canada's first C-17 will arrive at its home base in Trenton on Aug. 12, after a brief stop at the Abbotsford International Air Show near Vancouver, British Columbia on Aug. 11. Boeing will deliver the second Canadian C-17 in October and the final two aircraft in 2008.
The C-17 is the world's only tactical airlift aircraft with strategic capabilities. Capable of flying between continents and landing on short, austere runways, the C-17 is used worldwide for both military and humanitarian missions.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $32.4 billion business with 72,000 employees worldwide.