ST. LOUIS, June 11, 2008 -- The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] delivered the United Kingdom's sixth C-17 Globemaster III to the Royal Air Force (RAF) today during a ceremony at the company's Long Beach, Calif., C-17 manufacturing facility. The delivery completes the RAF's initial order for the world's most advanced airlifter.
"We congratulate you not only on the acquisition of your sixth C-17 Globemaster III, but also for the amazing accomplishments you've had over the past seven years with the five already in your fleet," said Jean Chamberlin, Boeing vice president and C-17 program manager. "The RAF has repeatedly demonstrated the C-17's advanced capabilities in support of U.K. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and by providing critical humanitarian aid in numerous locations around the world."
The C-17 will operate out of RAF base Brize Norton near London, home of the Strategic Air Transport and Air-to-Air Refueling forces, and will provide critical airlift capability for the Joint Rapid Reaction Force.
"Whether our C-17s are serving in combat or on humanitarian missions, we know they are often the difference between life and death," said Air Vice-Marshal Kevin Leeson, Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff for Logistic Operations. "You've built a remarkable airlifter that means so much to British military personnel as they transit to and from operational theaters and to those in desperate need of humanitarian aid in remote, hard-to-access sites around the world."
In addition to supporting operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the RAF's C-17s have provided humanitarian relief to the victims of tsunamis in Southeast Asia and earthquakes in Pakistan. The C-17 is the world's only tactical airlift aircraft with strategic capabilities that allow it to fly between continents and land on short, austere runways.
With today's delivery, there are nearly 190 operational C-17s worldwide -- 173 with the U.S. Air Force; six with the Royal Air Force (UK); four with the Royal Australian Air Force, and four with the Canadian Forces.
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