C-17 Globemaster III

C-17 Globemaster III

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The Boeing (formerly McDonnell Douglas) C-17 Globemaster III is a large military transport aircraft
Military transport aircraft
Military transport aircraft are typically fixed and rotary wing cargo aircraft which are used to deliver troops, weapons and other military equipment by a variety of methods to any area of military operations around the surface of the planet, usually outside of the commercial flight routes in...

. Developed for the United States Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 (USAF) from the 1980s to the early 1990s by McDonnell Douglas
McDonnell Douglas
McDonnell Douglas was a major American aerospace manufacturer and defense contractor, producing a number of famous commercial and military aircraft. It formed from a merger of McDonnell Aircraft and Douglas Aircraft in 1967. McDonnell Douglas was based at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport...

, the C-17 is used for rapid strategic airlift
Airlift
Airlift is the act of transporting people or cargo from point to point using aircraft.Airlift may also refer to:*Airlift , a suction device for moving sand and silt underwater-See also:...

 of troops and cargo
Cargo
Cargo is goods or produce transported, generally for commercial gain, by ship, aircraft, train, van or truck. In modern times, containers are used in most intermodal long-haul cargo transport.-Marine:...

 to main operating bases
Main Operating Base
Main Operating Base is a term used by the United States military defined as "an overseas, permanently manned, well protected base, used to support permanently deployed forces, and with robust sea and/or air access." This term was used to differentiate major strategic overseas military facilities...

 or forward operating base
Forward Operating Base
A forward operating base is any secured forward military position, commonly a military base, that is used to support tactical operations. A FOB may or may not contain an airfield, hospital, or other facilities. The base may be used for an extended period of time. FOBs are traditionally supported...

s throughout the world. It can also perform tactical airlift, medical evacuation and airdrop
Airdrop
An airdrop is a type of airlift, developed during World War II to resupply otherwise inaccessible troops, who themselves may have been airborne forces. In some cases, it is used to refer to the airborne assault itself. Early airdrops were conducted by dropping or pushing padded bundles from...

 missions. The C-17 carries the name of two previous, but unrelated piston-engine, U.S. military cargo aircraft, the Douglas C-74 Globemaster and the Douglas C-124 Globemaster II.

In addition to the U.S. Air Force, the C-17 is operated by the United Kingdom
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

, Australia
Royal Australian Air Force
The Royal Australian Air Force is the air force branch of the Australian Defence Force. The RAAF was formed in March 1921. It continues the traditions of the Australian Flying Corps , which was formed on 22 October 1912. The RAAF has taken part in many of the 20th century's major conflicts...

, Canada
Royal Canadian Air Force
The history of the Royal Canadian Air Force begins in 1920, when the air force was created as the Canadian Air Force . In 1924 the CAF was renamed the Royal Canadian Air Force and granted royal sanction by King George V. The RCAF existed as an independent service until 1968...

, Qatar, United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates Air Force
The United Arab Emirates Air Force is the air force of the United Arab Emirates . Its predecessor was established in 1968, when the Emirates were still under British rule. Since then, it has undergone a continual reorganization and expansion in terms of both capability and numbers of aircraft...

 and NATO Heavy Airlift Wing
Heavy Airlift Wing
The Heavy Airlift Wing is a multinational military airlift organization based at Pápa Air Base, Hungary. It was officially activated on July 27, 2009 as part the Strategic Airlift Capability consortium. The consortium purchased and operates three C-17 Globemaster III aircraft that fly under the...

. Additionally, India
Indian Air Force
The Indian Air Force is the air arm of the Indian armed forces. Its primary responsibility is to secure Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare during a conflict...

 has approved the purchase of C-17s.

Background and design phase


In the 1970s, the U.S. Air Force began looking for a replacement for its C-130 Hercules
C-130 Hercules
The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed and built originally by Lockheed, now Lockheed Martin. Capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings, the C-130 was originally designed as a troop, medical evacuation, and cargo transport...

 tactical cargo aircraft. The Advanced Medium STOL Transport
Advanced Medium STOL Transport
The Advanced Medium STOL Transport project was intended to replace the Lockheed C-130 Hercules tactical transport in United States Air Force service with a new aircraft with improved STOL performance...

 (AMST) competition was held, with Boeing
Boeing Integrated Defense Systems
Boeing Defense, Space & Security formerly known as Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a unit of The Boeing Company responsible for defense and aerospace products and services. Boeing Integrated Defense Systems was formed in 2002 by combining the former "Military Aircraft and Missile Systems"...

 proposing the YC-14
Boeing YC-14
The Boeing YC-14 was a twin-engine short take-off and landing tactical transport. It was Boeing's entrant into the United States Air Force's Advanced Medium STOL Transport competition, which aimed to replace the Lockheed C-130 Hercules as the USAF's standard STOL tactical transport...

, and McDonnell Douglas
McDonnell Douglas
McDonnell Douglas was a major American aerospace manufacturer and defense contractor, producing a number of famous commercial and military aircraft. It formed from a merger of McDonnell Aircraft and Douglas Aircraft in 1967. McDonnell Douglas was based at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport...

 proposing the YC-15
McDonnell Douglas YC-15
|-See also:-References:NotesBibliography* Green, William. The Observer's Book of Aircraft. London. Frederick Warne & Co. Ltd., 1976. ISBN 0-7232-1553-7....

. Though both entrants exceeded specified requirements, the AMST competition was canceled before a winner was selected. The Air Force started the C-X program in November 1979 to develop a larger AMST with longer range to augment its strategic airlift.

By 1980, the USAF found itself with a large fleet of aging C-141 Starlifter cargo aircraft. Compounding matters, USAF needed increased strategic airlift capabilities to fulfill its rapid-deployment airlift requirements. The USAF set mission requirements and released a request for proposals (RFP) for C-X in October 1980. McDonnell Douglas elected to develop a new aircraft based on the YC-15; Boeing bid an enlarged three-engine version of its AMST YC-14. Lockheed submitted two designs, a C-5-based design and an enlarged C-141 design. On 28 August 1981, McDonnell Douglas was chosen to build its proposed aircraft, then designated C-17. Compared to the YC-15, the new aircraft differed in having swept wings, increased size, and more powerful engines. This would allow it to perform the work done by the C-141, and also fulfill some of the duties of the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy, freeing the C-5 fleet for outsize cargo.

Alternate proposals were pursued to fill airlift needs after the C-X contest. These were lengthening of C-141As into C-141Bs, ordering more C-5s, continued purchases of KC-10s, and expansion of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet
Civil Reserve Air Fleet
The Civil Reserve Air Fleet is part of the United States's mobility resources. Selected aircraft from U.S. airlines, contractually committed to Civil Reserve Air Fleet, support United States Department of Defense airlift requirements in emergencies when the need for airlift exceeds the capability...

. Limited budgets reduced program funding, requiring a delay of four years. During this time contracts were awarded for preliminary design work and for the completion of engine certification. In December 1985 a full-scale development contract was awarded. At this time, first flight was planned for 1990. The Air Force had formed a requirement for 210 aircraft.

Development problems and limited funding caused delays in the late 1980s. Criticisms were made of the developing aircraft and questions were raised about more cost-effective alternatives during this time. In April 1990, Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney
Dick Cheney
Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney served as the 46th Vice President of the United States , under George W. Bush....

 reduced the order from 210 to 120 aircraft.

The maiden flight of the C-17 took place on 15 September 1991 from the McDonnell Douglas's plant in Long Beach, California
Long Beach, California
Long Beach is a city situated in Los Angeles County in Southern California, on the Pacific coast of the United States. The city is the 36th-largest city in the nation and the seventh-largest in California. As of 2010, its population was 462,257...

, about a year behind schedule. The first aircraft (T-1) and five more production models (P1-P5) participated in extensive flight testing and evaluation at Edwards Air Force Base
Edwards Air Force Base
Edwards Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located on the border of Kern County, Los Angeles County, and San Bernardino County, California, in the Antelope Valley. It is southwest of the central business district of North Edwards, California and due east of Rosamond.It is named in...

. Two complete airframes were built for static and repeated load testing.

Development difficulties


A static test of the C-17 wing in October 1992 resulted in the wing failing at 128% of design limit load, which was below the 150% requirement. Both wings buckled rear to the front and failures occurred in stringers, spars and ribs. Some $100 million was spent to redesign the wing structure; the wing failed at 145% during a second test in September 1993. A careful review of the test data however, showed that the wing was not loaded correctly and did indeed meet the requirement.

The C-17 received the "Globemaster III" name in early 1993. In late 1993, the Department of Defense gave the contractor two years to solve production and cost overrun problems or face termination of the contract after the delivery of the 40th aircraft. By accepting the 1993 terms, McDonnell Douglas incurred a loss of nearly US$1.5 billion on the development phase of the program.

In April 1994, the C-17 program remained over budget, and did not meet weight, fuel burn, payload and range specifications. It also failed several key criteria during tests to evaluate its airworthiness. There were technical problems with mission software, landing gear, and so on. In May 1994, a proposal to cut the aircraft's production to as few as 32 aircraft emerged, but was rescinded. A July 1994 GAO document revealed that Air Force and DoD studies from 1986 and 1991 stated the C-17 could use 6,400 more runways outside the U.S. than the C-5; it was later discovered that this study had only considered the runway dimensions, but not their strength or Load Classification Numbers (LCN). The C-5 has a lower LCN, but the USAF classify both in the same broad Load Classification Group (LCG). When considering runway dimensions and their load ratings, the C-17's worldwide runway advantage over the C-5 shrank from 6,400 to 911 airfields. However, the C-17's ability to use lower quality, austere airfields was not considered.

A January 1995 GAO report revealed that while the original C-17 budget was $41.8 billion for 210 aircraft, the 120 aircraft already ordered at that point had already cost $39.5 billion. In March 1994, the U.S. Army had decided it no longer needed the 60000 lb (27,215.5 kg) Low Altitude Parachute Extraction System
Low Altitude Parachute Extraction System
Low Altitude Parachute Extraction System is a tactical military airlift delivery method where a fixed wing cargo aircraft can deposit supplies when landing is not an option in an area that is too small to accurately parachute supplies from a high altitude.This method was developed by the US...

 (LAPES) delivery with the C-17, feeling that the 42000 lb (19,050.9 kg) capability of the C-130 was sufficient; C-17 testing was limited to this lower weight. Issues with airflow prevented the C-17 from meeting its airdrop requirements. A February 1997 GAO report revealed that a C-17 with a full payload could not land on 3000 ft (914.4 m) wet runways; simulations suggested 5000 ft (1,524 m) was required.

The YC-15
McDonnell Douglas YC-15
|-See also:-References:NotesBibliography* Green, William. The Observer's Book of Aircraft. London. Frederick Warne & Co. Ltd., 1976. ISBN 0-7232-1553-7....

 was transferred to AMARC to be made flightworthy again for further flight tests for the C-17 program in March 1997. By the mid-1990s, most of the problems had been resolved. The first C-17 squadron was declared operational by the U.S. Air Force in January 1995. In 1996, DoD ordered another 80 aircraft for a total of 120. In 1997 McDonnell Douglas merged with its former competitor, Boeing. In April 1999, Boeing proposed to cut the price of the C-17 if the Air Force bought 60 more, and in August 2002, the order was increased to 180 aircraft.

Continued production


Due to a dwindling order backlog, Boeing will deliver 13 C-17s in 2011. The company is transitioning to a lower production rate of 10 C-17s per year from a high of 16 per year in a bid to extend the production line through 2012 as it works to sign additional international orders. The C-17 production line was previously slated to be closed several times, but was extended due to new orders received. The C-17 workforce will be reduced by approximately 1,100 through the end of 2012, mostly through the elimination of a second shift at the C-17 final assembly plant in Long Beach.

There have been 230 production C-17s delivered, including 210 to the USAF in April 2011. This does not include the "T-1" prototype, which is used by the USAF for testing and development. In January 2010, the USAF announced that it would end Boeing's performance-based logistics contracts to maintain the aircraft, which was a key source for projected profit growth for the company.

Design


The C-17 is 174 feet (53 m) long and has a wingspan of about 170 feet (51.8 m). It can airlift cargo fairly close to a battle area. The size and weight of U.S. mechanized firepower and equipment have grown in recent decades from increased air mobility requirements, particularly for large or heavy non-palletized outsize cargo
Outsize cargo
Outsize cargo as defined by the United States military, is cargo that because of its size or weight can only be airlifted by C-5 Galaxy or C-17 Globemaster III; e.g., an M1 Abrams tank. The formal definition is a single item that is longer than 1,000 inches , wider than 117 inches , or taller...

.

The C-17 is powered by four Pratt & Whitney F117-PW-100
Pratt & Whitney PW2000
|-See also:-External links:...

 turbofan
Turbofan
The turbofan is a type of airbreathing jet engine that is widely used for aircraft propulsion. A turbofan combines two types of engines, the turbo portion which is a conventional gas turbine engine, and the fan, a propeller-like ducted fan...

 engines, which are based on the commercial Pratt and Whitney PW2040
Pratt & Whitney PW2000
|-See also:-External links:...

 used on the Boeing 757
Boeing 757
The Boeing 757 is a mid-size, narrow-body twin-engine jet airliner manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Passenger versions of the twinjet have a capacity of 186 to 289 persons and a maximum range of , depending on variant and cabin configuration...

. Each engine is fully reversible
Thrust reversal
Thrust reversal, also called reverse thrust, is the temporary diversion of an aircraft engine's exhaust or changing of propeller pitch so that the thrust produced is directed forward, rather than aft. This acts against the forward travel of the aircraft, providing deceleration...

 and rated at 40,400 lbf (180 kN) of gross thrust
Thrust
Thrust is a reaction force described quantitatively by Newton's second and third laws. When a system expels or accelerates mass in one direction the accelerated mass will cause a force of equal magnitude but opposite direction on that system....

. The thrust reversers direct engine exhaust air upwards and forward, reducing the chances of foreign object damage
Foreign object damage
Foreign Object Debris is a substance, debris or article alien to a vehicle or system which would potentially cause damage.Foreign Object Damage is any damage attributed to a foreign object that can be expressed in physical or economic terms that may or may not degrade the product's required...

 by ingestion of runway debris, and providing enough reverse thrust to back the aircraft up on the ground while taxiing
Taxiing
Taxiing refers to the movement of an aircraft on the ground, under its own power, in contrast to towing or push-back where the aircraft is moved by a tug...

. The thrust reversers can also be used in flight at idle-reverse for added drag in maximum-rate descents.

The aircraft requires a crew of three (pilot, copilot, and loadmaster) for cargo operations. Cargo is loaded through a large aft ramp that accommodates rolling stock, such as a 69-ton (63-metric ton) M1 Abrams
M1 Abrams
The M1 Abrams is a third-generation main battle tank produced in the United States. It is named after General Creighton Abrams, former Army Chief of Staff and Commander of US military forces in Vietnam from 1968 to 1972. The M1 is a well armed, heavily armored, and highly mobile tank designed for...

 tank, other armored vehicles, trucks, and trailers, along with palletized cargo
463L master pallet
The HCU-6/E or 463L Master Pallet is a standardized pallet used for transporting military air cargo. It is the main air-cargo pallet of the United States Air Force, designed to be loaded and offloaded on today's military airlifters as well as many civilian Civil Reserve Air Fleet cargo...

. The cargo compartment is 88 feet (26.82 m) long by 18 feet (5.49 m) wide by 12 feet 4 inches (3.76 m) high. The cargo floor has rollers for palletized cargo that can be flipped to provide a flat floor suitable for vehicles and other rolling stock.

Maximum payload of the C-17 is 170,900 lb (77,500 kg), and its Maximum Takeoff Weight is 585,000 lb (265,350 kg). With a payload of 160,000 lb (72,600 kg) and an initial cruise altitude of 28,000 ft (8,500 m), the C-17 has an unrefueled range of about 2,400 nautical miles (4,400 km) on the first 71 aircraft, and 2,800 nautical miles (5,200 km) on all subsequent extended-range models that include sealed center wing bay as a fuel tank. Boeing informally calls these aircraft, the C-17 ER. The C-17's cruise speed is about 450 knots (833 km/h) (0.76 Mach). The C-17 is designed to airdrop 102 paratrooper
Paratrooper
Paratroopers are soldiers trained in parachuting and generally operate as part of an airborne force.Paratroopers are used for tactical advantage as they can be inserted into the battlefield from the air, thereby allowing them to be positioned in areas not accessible by land...

s and their equipment. The U.S. Army BCT Ground Combat Vehicle
BCT Ground Combat Vehicle Program
The Ground Combat Vehicle is the U.S. Army's replacement program for armored fighting vehicles in Heavy and Stryker brigade combat teams. The GCV is organized under the Follow On Incremental Capabilities Package of the BCT Modernization program. The first variant of the vehicle is to be prototyped...

 is to be transported by the C-17.
The C-17 is designed to operate from runways as short as 3,500 ft (1,064 m) and as narrow as 90 ft (27 m). In addition, the C-17 can operate from unpaved, unimproved runways (although with greater chance of damage to the aircraft). The thrust reversers can be used to back the aircraft and reverse direction on narrow taxiways using a three- (or more) point turn.

United States Air Force


The first production model was delivered to Charleston Air Force Base
Charleston Air Force Base
Joint Base Charleston is a United States military facility located in North Charleston, South Carolina. The facility is under the jurisdiction of the United States Air Force 628th Air Base Wing, Air Mobility Command...

, South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

 on 14 July 1993. The first squadron of C-17s, the 17th Airlift Squadron
17th Airlift Squadron
The 17th Airlift Squadron is one of four active duty C-17A Globemaster III squadrons at Charleston AFB, SC.The 17th Airlift Squadron is commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel, who serves as head of the squadron and the pilots...

, was declared operationally ready on 17 January 1995. The C-17 has broken 22 records for oversized payloads. The C-17 was awarded US aviation's most prestigious award, the Collier Trophy
Collier Trophy
The Collier Trophy is an annual aviation award administered by the U.S. National Aeronautics Association , presented to those who have made "the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America, with respect to improving the performance, efficiency, and safety of air or space...

 in 1994. A report to Congress detailing operations in Kosovo
Kosovo
Kosovo is a region in southeastern Europe. Part of the Ottoman Empire for more than five centuries, later the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija within Serbia...

 and Operation Allied Force
Operation Allied Force
The NATO bombing of Yugoslavia was NATO's military operation against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia during the Kosovo War. The strikes lasted from March 24, 1999 to June 10, 1999...

 noted that "One of the great success stories...was the performance of the Air Force's C-17A" The C-17 flew half of the strategic airlift missions required in the operation. The aircraft allowed for deliveries via small airfields, greatly assisting the deployment; and rapid turnaround times allowed for efficient utilization.

The Air Force originally programmed to buy a total of 120 C-17s, with the last one being scheduled for delivery in November 2004. The fiscal 2000 budget funded another 14 aircraft, primarily for Air Mobility Command
Air Mobility Command
Air Mobility Command is a Major Command of the U.S. Air Force. AMC is headquartered at Scott AFB, Illinois, east of St. Louis....

 (AMC) support of the United States Special Operations Command
United States Special Operations Command
The United States Special Operations Command is the Unified Combatant Command charged with overseeing the various Special Operations Commands of the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps of the United States Armed Forces. The command is part of the Department of Defense...

 (USSOCOM). Basing of the original 120 C-17s was with the 437th Airlift Wing
437th Airlift Wing
The 437th Airlift Wing is an active unit of the United States Air Force, assigned to 18th Air Force, Air Mobility Command. It is the mission wing at Charleston Air Force Base, Joint Base Charleston, in the City of North Charleston, South Carolina....

 and 315th Airlift Wing
315th Airlift Wing
The 315th Airlift Wing is a wing of the United States Air Force Reserve. It is stationed at Charleston Air Force Base, in the City of North Charleston, South Carolina...

 at Charleston AFB, South Carolina, the 62nd Airlift Wing and 446th Airlift Wing
446th Airlift Wing
The 446th Airlift Wing is a United States Air Force Reserve unit. The wing is stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. If ordered to Active Service, the unit would come under the Air Mobility Command 15th Expeditionary Mobility Task Force....

 at McChord Air Force Base, Washington (first aircraft arrived in July 1999), the Air Education and Training Command
Air Education and Training Command
Air Education and Training Command was established July 1, 1993, with the realignment of Air Training Command and Air University. It is one of the U.S. Air Force's ten major commands and reports to Headquarters, United States Air Force....

's (AETC) 97th Air Mobility Wing
97th Air Mobility Wing
The 97th Air Mobility Wing is a United States Air Force unit assigned to the Air Education and Training Command Nineteenth Air Force. It is stationed at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma. The wing is also the host unit at Altus...

 at Altus AFB
Altus Air Force Base
Altus Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located approximately east-northeast of Altus, Oklahoma.The host unit at Altus AFB is the 97th Air Mobility Wing , assigned to the Nineteenth Air Force of the Air Education and Training Command...

, Oklahoma, and the Air Mobility Command
Air Mobility Command
Air Mobility Command is a Major Command of the U.S. Air Force. AMC is headquartered at Scott AFB, Illinois, east of St. Louis....

-gained 172nd Airlift Wing of the Mississippi Air National Guard
Mississippi Air National Guard
The Mississippi Air National Guard is the air force militia of the U.S. state of Mississippi. It is, along with the Mississippi Army National Guard, an element of the Mississippi National Guard...

 at Jackson-Evers International Airport
Jackson-Evers International Airport
Jackson-Evers International Airport is a city-owned, public-use airport located in Jackson, Mississippi, five nautical miles east of the central business district of Jackson, across the Pearl River....

/ANGB, Mississippi. Although belonging to the Air Mobility Command
Air Mobility Command
Air Mobility Command is a Major Command of the U.S. Air Force. AMC is headquartered at Scott AFB, Illinois, east of St. Louis....

, the C-17s of the 172 AW are controlled by the Air National Guard
Air National Guard
The Air National Guard , often referred to as the Air Guard, is the air force militia organized by each of the fifty U.S. states, the commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the territories of Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia of the United States. Established under Title 10 and...

 (ANG).

Basing of the additional 13 aircraft went to the 305th Air Mobility Wing
305th Air Mobility Wing
The 305th Air Mobility Wing is a United States Air Force strategic airlift and air refueling wing under the operational control of the Air Mobility Command...

 and 514th Air Mobility Wing
514th Air Mobility Wing
The 514th Air Mobility Wing is a wing of the United States Air Force based out of McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey.-History:...

 at McGuire Air Force Base
McGuire Air Force Base
JB MDL McGuire is a United States Air Force base located approximately south-southeast of Trenton, New Jersey. McGuire is under the jurisdiction of the USAF Air Mobility Command...

, New Jersey; the 3rd Wing and 176th Wing
176th Wing
The 176th Wing is the largest unit of the Alaska Air National Guard. It is a composite wing — meaning a wing which operates more than one type of aircraft — operating out of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska...

 at Elmendorf Air Force Base
Elmendorf Air Force Base
Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson is a United States military facility adjacent to Anchorage, the largest city in Alaska. It is an amalgamation of the former United States Air Force Elmendorf Air Force Base and the United States Army Fort Richardson, which were merged in 2010.-Overview:The...

, Alaska; 15th Airlift Wing
15th Airlift Wing
The 15th Wing is a wing of the United States Air Force at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. It is the airlift arm of Pacific Air Forces and United States Pacific Command and reports directly to the commander, Pacific Air Forces.-Mission:...

 and 154th Wing
154th Wing
The United States Air Force 154th Wing is the operational component of the Hawaii Air National Guard. It is stationed at Hickam Field, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.-Overview:...

 at Hickam Air Force Base
Hickam Air Force Base
Hickam Field, re-named Hickam Air Force Base in 1948, was a United States Air Force facility now part of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, named in honor of aviation pioneer Lt Col Horace Meek Hickam.- History :...

, Hawaii; and 60th Air Mobility Wing
60th Air Mobility Wing
The 60th Air Mobility Wing is the host unit at Travis Air Force Base in California. It is the largest air mobility organization in the United States Air Force and is responsible for strategic airlift and aerial refueling missions around the world...

 and 349th Air Mobility Wing
349th Air Mobility Wing
The 349th Air Mobility Wing is the largest associate reserve wing in the United States Air Force. In partnership with its active duty host wing, the 60th Air Mobility Wing the 349 AMW flies, maintains and supports the C-5 Galaxy, KC-10 Extender, C-17 Globemaster III...

 at Travis Air Force Base
Travis Air Force Base
Travis Air Force Base is a United States Air Force air base under the operational control of the Air Mobility Command , located three miles east of the central business district of Fairfield, in Solano County, California, United States. The base is named for Brigadier General Robert F...

, California. An additional 60 units were ordered in May 2002. In FY 2006, eight C-17s were delivered to March Joint Air Reserve Base
March Joint Air Reserve Base
March Joint Air Reserve Base is located in Riverside County, California between the cities of Riverside and Moreno Valley. It is the home to the Air Force Reserve Command's 4th Air Force Headquarters and the 452d Air Mobility Wing , the largest air mobility wing of the 4th Air Force...

, California; to be controlled by the Air Force Reserve Command
Air Force Reserve Command
The Air Force Reserve Command is a major command of the U.S. Air Force with its headquarters at Robins AFB, Georgia.It stood up as a major command of the Air Force on 17 February 1997....

 (AFRC). In 2007, Congress appropriated funds for 10 additional USAF C-17s, bringing the total planned fleet size to 190. Additional aircraft were subsequently assigned to Dover Air Force Base
Dover Air Force Base
Dover Air Force Base or Dover AFB is a United States Air Force base located two miles southeast of the city of Dover, Delaware.-Units:...

, Delaware, previously equipped with Lockheed C-5 Galaxy aircraft.
The C-17 have been, and continue to be, used to deliver military goods and humanitarian aid
Humanitarian aid
Humanitarian aid is material or logistical assistance provided for humanitarian purposes, typically in response to humanitarian crises including natural disaster and man-made disaster. The primary objective of humanitarian aid is to save lives, alleviate suffering, and maintain human dignity...

 during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 as well as Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

. On 26 March 2003, 15 USAF C-17s participated in the biggest combat airdrop since the United States invasion of Panama
United States invasion of Panama
The United States Invasion of Panama, code-named Operation Just Cause, was the invasion of Panama by the United States in December 1989. It occurred during the administration of U.S. President George H. W...

 in December 1989: the night-time airdrop of 1,000 paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade occurred over Bashur, Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

. The airdrop of paratroopers were followed by C-17s ferrying M1 Abrams, M2 Bradleys, M113s and artillery. USAF C-17s have also been used to assist allies in their airlift requirements, including Canadian vehicles to Afghanistan in 2003 and the deployment of Australian forces during the Australian-led military deployment to East Timor
Operation Astute
Operation Astute is an Australian-led military deployment to East Timor to quell unrest and return stability in the 2006 East Timor crisis. It is currently headed by Brigadier Bill Sowry, and commenced on 25 May 2006 under the command of Brigadier Michael Slater...

 in 2006. In late 2006, USAF C-17s flew 15 Canadian Leopard C2 tanks from Kyrgyzstan into Kandahar in support of the NATO mission in Afghanistan.
A C-17 also accompanies the President of the United States on his visits to both domestic and foreign arrangements, consultations, and meetings. The C-17 is used to transport the Presidential Limousine and security detachments. There have been several occasions where a C-17 has been used to transport the President himself, temporarily gaining the Air Force One
Air Force One
Air Force One is the official air traffic control call sign of any United States Air Force aircraft carrying the President of the United States. In common parlance the term refers to those Air Force aircraft whose primary mission is to transport the president; however, any U.S. Air Force aircraft...

 callsign while doing so.

There has been debate about follow-on orders for the C-17, with the Air Force requesting line shutdown, and members of Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 attempting to reinstate production. Furthermore, in FY2007, the Air Force requested $1.6 billion to deal with what it termed "excessive combat use" on operational airframes. However, in testimony before a House of Representatives subcommittee on air and land forces, General Arthur Lichte
Arthur Lichte
Arthur James Lichte was a four-star general in the United States Air Force. His last military assignment was as the commander of Air Mobility Command based in Scott Air Force Base, Illinois from September 2007 to November 20, 2009. Air Mobility Command's mission is to provide rapid, global...

, USAF, the Commander of Air Mobility Command
Air Mobility Command
Air Mobility Command is a Major Command of the U.S. Air Force. AMC is headquartered at Scott AFB, Illinois, east of St. Louis....

 indicated the need to extend production to another 15 aircraft to increase the total to 205. Pending the delivery of the results of two studies in 2009, Lichte considered that the Air Force may have to keep the production line open for purchase of even more C-17s to satisfy airlift requirements.

Royal Air Force


Boeing has marketed the C-17 to many European nations including Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. The Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 (RAF) has established an aim of having interoperability and some weapons and capabilities commonality with the USAF. The UK's 1998 Strategic Defence Review
Strategic Defence Review
The Strategic Defence Review was a British policy document produced by the Labour Government that came to power in 1997. Then Secretary of State for Defence, George Robertson, set out the initial defence policy of the new government, with a series of key decisions designed to enhance the United...

 identified a requirement for a strategic airlifter. The Short-Term Strategic Airlift (STSA) competition commenced in September of that year, however tendering was canceled in August 1999 with some bids identified by ministers as too expensive, including the Boeing/BAe
British Aerospace
British Aerospace plc was a UK aircraft, munitions and defence-systems manufacturer. Its head office was in the Warwick House in the Farnborough Aerospace Centre in Farnborough, Hampshire...

 C-17 bid, and others unsuitable. The project continued, with the C-17 seen as the favorite. In the light of continuing delays to the Airbus A400M
Airbus A400M
The Airbus A400M, also known as the Atlas, is a multi-national four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft. It was designed by Airbus Military as a tactical airlifter with strategic capabilities. The aircraft's maiden flight, originally planned for 2008, took place on 11 December 2009 in...

 program, the UK Defence Secretary
Secretary of State for Defence
The Secretary of State for Defence, popularly known as the Defence Secretary, is the senior Government of the United Kingdom minister in charge of the Ministry of Defence, chairing the Defence Council. It is a Cabinet position...

, Geoff Hoon
Geoff Hoon
Geoffrey "Geoff" William Hoon is a British politician who served as the Member of Parliament for Ashfield from 1992 to 2010...

, announced in May 2000 that the RAF would lease four C-17s at an annual cost of £
Pound sterling
The pound sterling , commonly called the pound, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, its Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, British Antarctic Territory and Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence...

100 million from Boeing for an initial seven years with an optional two year extension. At this point the RAF would have the option to buy the aircraft or return them to Boeing. The UK committed to upgrading the C-17s inline with the USAF so that in the event of their being returned to Boeing the USAF could adopt them.

The first C-17 was delivered to the RAF at Boeing's Long Beach facility on 17 May 2001 and flown to RAF Brize Norton
RAF Brize Norton
RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, about west north-west of London, is the largest station of the Royal Air Force. It is close to the settlements of Brize Norton, Carterton and Witney....

 by a crew from No. 99 Squadron
No. 99 Squadron RAF
No. 99 Squadron of the Royal Air Force was a bomber squadron in both first and second world war. At present it operates the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III from RAF Brize Norton, the RAF's air transport hub. The squadron was the first RAF unit to receive the Avro Aldershot, Handley Page Hyderabad,...

 which had previously trained with USAF crews to gain competence on the type. The RAF's fourth C-17 was delivered on 24 August 2001. The RAF aircraft were some of the first to take advantage of the new center wing fuel tank found in Block 13 aircraft. In RAF service, the C-17 has not been given an official designation
British military aircraft designation systems
British military aircraft designations are used to refer to aircraft types and variants operated by the armed forces of the United Kingdom.Since the end of the First World War, aircraft types in British military service have generally been known by a name British military aircraft designations are...

 (for example,, C-130J referred to as Hercules C4 or C5), but is referred to simply as the C-17 or "C-17A Globemaster".
The RAF declared itself delighted with the C-17. Although the Globemaster fleet was to be a fallback for the A400M, the UK announced on 21 July 2004 that they had elected to buy their four C-17s at the end of the lease, even though the A400M appeared to be moving closer to production. They also announced there would be a follow-on order for one C-17, with possible additional purchases later. While the A400M is described as a "strategic" airlifter, the C-17 gives the RAF true strategic capabilities that it would not wish to lose, for example a maximum payload of 169,500 lb (77,000 kg) compared to the A400M's 82,000 lb (37,000 kg).

The Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom)
The Ministry of Defence is the United Kingdom government department responsible for implementation of government defence policy and is the headquarters of the British Armed Forces....

 (MoD) announced on 4 August 2006 that they had ordered an additional C-17 and that the four aircraft on lease would be purchased at the end of the current contract in 2008. A fifth aircraft was delivered on 22 February 2008 and reported for duty on 7 April 2008 at Brize Norton air base
RAF Brize Norton
RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, about west north-west of London, is the largest station of the Royal Air Force. It is close to the settlements of Brize Norton, Carterton and Witney....

 in Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire is a county in the South East region of England, bordering on Warwickshire and Northamptonshire , Buckinghamshire , Berkshire , Wiltshire and Gloucestershire ....

. Due to fears that the A400M may suffer further delays, the MoD announced in 2006 that it planned to acquire three more C-17s, for a total of eight, with delivery in 2009–2010. On 26 July 2007, Defence Secretary Des Browne
Des Browne
Desmond Henry Browne, Baron Browne of Ladyton is a British Labour Party politician who was the Member of Parliament for Kilmarnock and Loudoun from 1997 to 2010...

 announced that the MoD intended to order a sixth C-17 to boost operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. On 3 December 2007, the MoD announced a contract for a sixth C-17, which was received on 11 June 2008.

On 18 December 2009, Boeing confirmed that the RAF had ordered a seventh C-17, which was delivered on 16 November 2010. Boeing briefed the MoD in November 2010 regarding the possible acquisition of an eighth C-17, but no decision has been made. Production will be slowing down in order to extend the time before the C-17 production line has to shut down.

Royal Australian Air Force


The Royal Australian Air Force
Royal Australian Air Force
The Royal Australian Air Force is the air force branch of the Australian Defence Force. The RAAF was formed in March 1921. It continues the traditions of the Australian Flying Corps , which was formed on 22 October 1912. The RAAF has taken part in many of the 20th century's major conflicts...

 (RAAF) began investigating options to acquire heavy lift transport aircraft for strategic transport in 2005. In late 2005 the then Minister for Defence
Minister for Defence (Australia)
The Minister for Defence of Australia administers his portfolio through the Australian Defence Organisation, which comprises the Department of Defence and the Australian Defence Force. Stephen Smith is the current Minister.-Ministers for Defence:...

 Robert Hill stated that the Australian Defence Force
Australian Defence Force
The Australian Defence Force is the military organisation responsible for the defence of Australia. It consists of the Royal Australian Navy , Australian Army, Royal Australian Air Force and a number of 'tri-service' units...

 was considering such aircraft due to the limited availability of strategic airlift aircraft from partner nations and air freight companies. The C-17 was considered to be favoured over the A400M as it was a "proven aircraft" and was already in production. One major requirement from the RAAF was the ability to airlift the Army's
Australian Army
The Australian Army is Australia's military land force. It is part of the Australian Defence Force along with the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force. While the Chief of Defence commands the Australian Defence Force , the Army is commanded by the Chief of Army...

 new M1 Abrams
M1 Abrams
The M1 Abrams is a third-generation main battle tank produced in the United States. It is named after General Creighton Abrams, former Army Chief of Staff and Commander of US military forces in Vietnam from 1968 to 1972. The M1 is a well armed, heavily armored, and highly mobile tank designed for...

 main battle tank
Main battle tank
A main battle tank , also known as a battle tank or universal tank, is a tank that fills the heavy direct fire role of many modern armies. They were originally conceived to replace the light, medium, heavy and super-heavy tanks. Development was spurred onwards in the Cold War with the development...

s; another requirement was immediate delivery. Though unstated, commonality with the USAF and the United Kingdom's RAF was also considered advantageous. The aircraft for the RAAF were ordered directly from the USAF production run, and are identical to American C-17 even in paint scheme, the only difference being the national marking
Military aircraft insignia
Military aircraft insignia are insignia applied to military aircraft to identify the nation or branch of military service to which the aircraft belongs...

s. This allowed delivery to commence within nine months of commitment to the program.

On 2 March 2006, the Australian Government announced the purchase of three aircraft and one option with an entry into service date of 2006. In July 2006 a fixed price contract was awarded to Boeing to deliver four C-17s for US$780M (AUD$1bn). Australia also signed a US$80.7M contract to join the global 'virtual fleet' C-17 sustainment program and the RAAF's C-17s will receive the same upgrades as the USAF's fleet.

The Royal Australian Air Force took delivery of its first C-17 in a ceremony at Boeing's plant at Long Beach, California on 28 November 2006. Several days later the aircraft flew from Hickam Air Force Base
Hickam Air Force Base
Hickam Field, re-named Hickam Air Force Base in 1948, was a United States Air Force facility now part of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, named in honor of aviation pioneer Lt Col Horace Meek Hickam.- History :...

, Honolulu, Hawaii to Defence Establishment Fairbairn
Fairbairn, Canberra
Fairbairn was a base of the Royal Australian Air Force located in Australia's national capital, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory. Over the years the name of the establishment, and the use of the land, has changed...

, Canberra
Canberra
Canberra is the capital city of Australia. With a population of over 345,000, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory , south-west of Sydney, and north-east of Melbourne...

, arriving on 4 December 2006. The aircraft was formally accepted in a ceremony at Fairbairn shortly after arrival. The second aircraft was delivered to the RAAF on 11 May 2007 and the third was delivered on 18 December 2007. The fourth Australian C-17 was delivered on 19 January 2008. All the Australian C-17s are operated by No. 36 Squadron
No. 36 Squadron RAAF
No. 36 Squadron is a Royal Australian Air Force transport squadron. It currently operates C-17 Globemaster III aircraft from RAAF Base Amberley. The Squadron has seen active service flying transport aircraft during World War II, the Berlin Airlift, Korean War, Vietnam War and the invasion of Iraq...

 and are based at RAAF Base Amberley
RAAF Base Amberley
RAAF Base Amberley is a Royal Australian Air Force base located southwest of Ipswich, Queensland and southwest of Brisbane. It is currently home to No. 1 Squadron and No. 6 Squadron , No. 33 Squadron and No. 36 Squadron...

 in Queensland. The squadron is working towards reaching its full operational capability in mid-2011.

On 18 April 2011, Boeing announced that the Commonwealth of Australia had signed an agreement with the U.S. government to acquire a fifth C-17, and the aircraft was delivered to the RAAF on 14 September 2011. On 23 September 2011 Australian Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare
Jason Clare
Jason Dean Clare is the Australian Labor Party member of the Australian House of Representatives for the seat of Blaxland in the western suburbs of Sydney. He won election in the 2007 Australian federal election....

 announced that the government was seeking information from the United States about the price and delivery schedule for a sixth Globemaster. The US DSCA announced that Australia had made an official request for a sixth C-17A.

Australia's C-17s have supported ADF operations around the world. Tasks have included supporting Air Combat Group
Air Combat Group RAAF
The Royal Australian Air Force's Air Combat Group is the group which administers the RAAF's fighter and bomber aircraft. ACG was formed on 7 February 2002 by merging the RAAF's Tactical Fighter Group and Strike Reconnaissance Group in an attempt to improve the speed with which the RAAF can deploy...

 training deployments to the United States, transporting Royal Australian Navy
Royal Australian Navy
The Royal Australian Navy is the naval branch of the Australian Defence Force. Following the Federation of Australia in 1901, the ships and resources of the separate colonial navies were integrated into a national force: the Commonwealth Naval Forces...

 Sea Hawk
Sikorsky S-70
The Sikorsky S-70 is a medium transport/utility helicopter family manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft. It was developed for the U.S. Army in the 1970s, winning a competition to be designated the UH-60 Blackhawk and spawning a large family in U.S. military service...

 helicopters and making fortnightly missions to the Middle East to supply Australian forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The C-17s have also carried humanitarian supplies to Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea , officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, is a country in Oceania, occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and numerous offshore islands...

 during Operation Papua New Guinea Assist
Operation Papua New Guinea Assist
Operation Papua New Guinea Assist was the Australian Defence Force's contribution to the Australian humanitarian effort in Oro Province, Papua New Guinea following heavy flooding caused by Cyclone Guba in November 2007. The humanitarian effort was being led by AusAID and the ADF provided...

 in 2007, supplies and South African Puma helicopters
Aérospatiale Puma
The Aérospatiale SA 330 Puma is a four-bladed, twin-engined medium transport/utility helicopter. The Puma was originally manufactured by Sud Aviation of France.-Development:...

 to Burma in 2008 following Cyclone Nargis
Cyclone Nargis
Cyclone Nargis , was a strong tropical cyclone that caused the worst natural disaster in the recorded history of Burma. The cyclone made landfall in Burma on Friday, May 2, 2008, causing catastrophic destruction and at least 138,000 fatalities...

, relief supplies to Samoa
Samoa
Samoa , officially the Independent State of Samoa, formerly known as Western Samoa is a country encompassing the western part of the Samoan Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. It became independent from New Zealand in 1962. The two main islands of Samoa are Upolu and one of the biggest islands in...

 following the 2009 earthquake
2009 Samoa earthquake
The 2009 Samoa earthquake was an 8.1 Mw submarine earthquake that took place in the Samoan Islands region at 06:48:11 local time on September 29, 2009 . At a magnitude of 8.1, it was the largest earthquake of 2009....

, relief supplies around Queensland following the 2010–2011 floods
2010–2011 Queensland floods
A series of floods hit Australia, beginning in December 2010, primarily in the state of Queensland including its capital city, Brisbane. The floods forced the evacuation of thousands of people from towns and cities. At least seventy towns and over 200,000 people were affected. Damage initially was...

 and Cyclone Yasi
Cyclone Yasi
Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi was a tropical cyclone that made landfall in northern Queensland, Australia in the early hours of Thursday, 3 February 2011. Yasi originated from a tropical low near Fiji. The system intensified to a Category 3 cyclone at about 5pm AEST on 31 January 2011...

, and rescue teams and equipment to New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 following the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake, and delivery of equipment for mitigation of the effects caused by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami
2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami
The 2011 earthquake off the Pacific coast of Tohoku, also known as the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, or the Great East Japan Earthquake, was a magnitude 9.0 undersea megathrust earthquake off the coast of Japan that occurred at 14:46 JST on Friday, 11 March 2011, with the epicenter approximately east...

 from Western Australia to Japan.

Royal Canadian Air Force


Canada's air force has had a long-standing need for strategic airlift for humanitarian and military operations around the world. The CF had followed a pattern similar to the Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe is a generic German term for an air force. It is also the official name for two of the four historic German air forces, the Wehrmacht air arm founded in 1935 and disbanded in 1946; and the current Bundeswehr air arm founded in 1956....

 in using rented Antonov
Antonov
Antonov, or Antonov Aeronautical Scientist/Technical Complex , formerly the Antonov Design Bureau, is a Ukrainian aircraft manufacturing and services company with particular expertise in the field of very large aircraft construction. Antonov ASTC is a state-owned commercial company...

s and Ilyushin
Ilyushin
Open Joint Stock Company «Ilyushin Aviation Complex» , operating as Ilyushin or Ilyushin Design Bureau, is a Russian design bureau and aircraft manufacturer, founded by Sergey Vladimirovich Ilyushin. Ilyushin was established under the Soviet Union. Its operations began on January 13, 1933, by...

s for many of their needs, including deploying the Disaster Assistance Response Team
Disaster Assistance Response Team
The Disaster Assistance Response Team is a rapidly deployable team of 200 Canadian Forces personnel. It provides assistance to disaster-affected regions for up to 40 days. DART's headquarters is in Kingston, Ontario...

 (DART) to tsunami-stricken Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

 in 2005. The CF was forced to rely entirely on leased An-124 Ruslan
Antonov An-124
The Antonov An-124 Ruslan is a strategic airlift jet aircraft. It was designed by the Ukrainian SSR's Antonov design bureau, then part of the Soviet Union. It is the world's largest ever serially-manufactured cargo airplane and world's second largest operating cargo aircraft...

 for a deployment to Haiti
Operation HALO
Operation Halo was the Canadian Forces contribution of ~500 personnel and 6 CH-146 Griffon helicopters to Haiti in March 2004 as part of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti to assist in stabilizing the country following February's 2004 Haitian rebellion...

 in 2003. The service has also used a combination of leased Ruslans, Ilyushins and USAF C-17s for moving heavy equipment into Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

. The Canadian Forces Future Strategic Airlifter Project was initiated in 2002 to study alternatives, including long-term leasing arrangements.
On 5 July 2006, the Canadian government issued a notice that it intended to negotiate directly with Boeing for the purchase of four airlifters for the Canadian Forces
Canadian Forces
The Canadian Forces , officially the Canadian Armed Forces , are the unified armed forces of Canada, as constituted by the National Defence Act, which states: "The Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada and consist of one Service called the Canadian Armed Forces."...

 Air Command. On 1 February 2007, Canada awarded a contract for four C-17s with delivery beginning in August 2007. Like Australia, Canada was granted airframes originally slated for the U.S. Air Force, to accelerate delivery.

On 16 June 2007, the first Canadian C-17 rolled off the assembly line at Long Beach, California and into the paint hangar for painting and addition of Canadian markings including the national logo and air force roundel
Roundel
A roundel in heraldry is a disc; the term is also commonly used to refer to a type of national insignia used on military aircraft, generally circular in shape and usually comprising concentric rings of different colours.-Heraldry:...

. The first Canadian C-17 made its initial flight on 23 July. It was turned over to Canada on 8 August, and participated at the Abbotsford International Airshow
Abbotsford International Airshow
The Abbotsford International Airshow is held annually on the second Friday, Saturday and Sunday in August at Abbotsford International Airport in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada....

 on 11 August prior to arriving at its new home base at 8 Wing, CFB Trenton
CFB Trenton
Canadian Forces Base Trenton , is a Canadian Forces base located northeast of Trenton, Ontario. It is operated as an air force base by the Royal Canadian Air Force and is the hub for air transport operations in Canada and abroad...

, Ontario on 12 August. Its first operational mission was delivery of disaster relief to Jamaica
Jamaica
Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

 in the aftermath of Hurricane Dean
Hurricane Dean
The name Dean was used for five tropical cyclones in the Northern Atlantic Ocean:*1983's Tropical Storm Dean, which struck the coast of Virginia, causing minor erosion and flooding...

. The second C-17 arrived at 8 Wing, CFB Trenton on 18 October 2007. The last of four aircraft was delivered in April 2008. The C-17 is officially designated CC-177 Globemaster III within the Canadian air service. Canadian Forces Air Command was renamed to Royal Canadian Air Force
Royal Canadian Air Force
The history of the Royal Canadian Air Force begins in 1920, when the air force was created as the Canadian Air Force . In 1924 the CAF was renamed the Royal Canadian Air Force and granted royal sanction by King George V. The RCAF existed as an independent service until 1968...

 (RCAF) in August 2011. The aircraft are assigned to RCAF's 429 Squadron based at CFB Trenton.

On 14 April 2010, a CF C-17 landed at Canadian Forces Station Alert, the world's most northerly airport. It was Canada's first operational unpaved runway landing with a C-17. Canadian Globemasters have been deployed in support of numerous humanitarian and military missions worldwide, including Operation Hestia
Operation Hestia
Operation Hestia is the name of the Canadian Forces humanitarian response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake which struck Haiti on 12 January, 2010. Operation Hestia is the military component of an interagency response that also involves Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada and the Canadian...

 after the earthquake in Haiti, evacuations of foreign citizens from Libya, providing airlift as part of Operation Mobile
Operation Mobile
Operation Mobile was the name given to Canadian Forces activities in the 2011 military intervention in Libya. The United States' counterpart to this was Operation Odyssey Dawn, the French counterpart was Opération Harmattan and the British counterpart was Operation Ellamy...

 as well as ongoing support to the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan.

NATO (Strategic Airlift Capability Program)


A number of NATO countries signed a letter of intent
Letter of intent
A letter of intent is a document outlining an agreement between two or more parties before the agreement is finalized. The concept is similar to a heads of agreement...

 to purchase C-17s on 19 July 2006 at the 2006 Farnborough Airshow to participate in the joint purchase and operation of C-17s within NATO, a program called the NATO Strategic Airlift Capability
NATO Strategic Airlift Capability
The Strategic Airlift Capability is a consortium of 12 nations, 10 of which are member states of NATO and two of which are Partners For Peace, to pool together resources to purchase and operate Boeing C-17 Globemaster III aircraft for joint strategic airlift purposes.The SAC concept was...

. A further letter of intent was announced on 12 September 2006 that included a few other countries, some of which have since withdrawn. The present members are Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

, Estonia
Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

, Hungary, Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

, Slovenia
Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

, the United States, as well as two Partnership for Peace
Partnership for Peace
Partnership for Peace is a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation program aimed at creating trust between NATO and other states in Europe and the former Soviet Union; 22 States are members...

 countries Finland and Sweden.

The purchase is for two C-17s, and a third which is the US contribution to the pool, which is manned in the same fashion as the NATO E-3
E-3 Sentry
The Boeing E-3 Sentry is an airborne warning and control system developed by Boeing as the prime contractor. Derived from the Boeing 707, it provides all-weather surveillance, command, control and communications, and is used by the United States Air Force , NATO, Royal Air Force , French Air Force...

 AWACS aircraft, where the AWACS aircraft are jointly manned by crew from NATO countries. On 14 July 2009, Boeing delivered the first C-17 under NATO's Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC) program. The second and third C-17s were delivered in September and October 2009. The aircraft are based at Pápa Air Base, Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

. The Heavy Airlift Wing is hosted by Hungary, which acts as the flag nation.

Other


In June 2009, the Indian Air Force
Indian Air Force
The Indian Air Force is the air arm of the Indian armed forces. Its primary responsibility is to secure Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare during a conflict...

 (IAF) selected the C-17 to fulfill its Very Heavy Lift Transport Aircraft requirement. The C-17 is to replace the Ilyushin Il-76
Ilyushin Il-76
The Ilyushin Il-76 is a multi-purpose four-engined strategic airlifter designed by Ilyushin design bureau. It was first planned as a commercial freighter in 1967. Intended as a replacement for the Antonov An-12, the Il-76 was designed for delivering heavy machinery to remote, poorly-serviced areas...

 as the IAF's largest heavy lift transport aircraft in service. In January 2010, the US Government received a request from India for 10 C-17s through the US Government's Foreign Military Sales
Foreign Military Sales
The U.S. Department of Defense's Foreign Military Sales program facilitates sales of U.S. arms, defense equipment, defense services, and military training to foreign governments...

 program, and was approved by US Congress in June 2010. On 23 June 2010, the Indian Air Force successfully test-landed a USAF C-17 at the Gaggal Airport, India. This completed the IAF's C-17 trials. An agreement to purchase 10 aircraft, with an option to purchase six more, was revealed during President Obama's visit to India in November 2010. In February 2011 the IAF and Boeing agreed to terms for order of 10 C-17s with an option for six more; the order was approved by the Indian Cabinet Committee on Security on 6 June 2011. Deliveries are to begin two years after the contract with Boeing is finalized. In June 2011, it was reported that the Indian Air Force could buy more C-17s later. The Indian Air Force plans to base its C-17s at Hindon Air Force Station
Hindon Air Force Station
Hindon Air Force Station is an Indian Air Force base under the Western Air Command . It is located near Ghaziabad in the state of Uttar Pradesh in the National Capital Region on the outskirts of Delhi, close to the Hindon River...

 after deliveries in 2013-14.

The Qatar Emiri Air Force operates two Boeing C-17s. Boeing delivered Qatar's first C-17 on 11 August 2009 and the second on 10 September 2009.

USAF


In 2007, 190 C-17s were on order to the USAF. Congress provided funding for 15 C-17s in a FY2008 War Supplemental in June 2008. These funds extended production from August 2009 to August 2010. On 6 February 2009, Boeing was awarded a contract for 15 additional aircraft for $2.95 billion, thus increasing C-17s on contract to the USAF to 205. On 6 April 2009, US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates
Robert Gates
Dr. Robert Michael Gates is a retired civil servant and university president who served as the 22nd United States Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011. Prior to this, Gates served for 26 years in the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council, and under President George H. W....

 announced that there would be no more C-17s ordered beyond the 205 planned. But a month later in May a war funding bill was put forward with funding for up to eight more aircraft. On 12 June 2009, the House Armed Services Air and Land Forces Subcommittee added 17 C-17s to the total planned level.

In November 2009, 205 C-17s were on contract with the USAF. A contract for eight C-17s from the supplemental war funding bill has not yet been awarded. On 18 December 2009, the US Senate passed the FY 2010 DOD budget with funding for 10 C-17s and was signed into law by the President the following day. Total USAF C-17s contracted will be 223 once contracts are awarded, extending production until 2013.

International


In February 2009, the United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

 signed an agreement to purchase four C-17 airlifters. In January 2010, UAE signed a contract with Boeing for six C-17s (four C-17s in 2011, and two in 2012).

During the summer 2008 it was reported that South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

 had allocated funds for the purchase of three or four C-17-class for use in supporting expeditionary deployments. In September 2010, Kuwait requested the purchase of one C-17, spare parts and support through the U.S.'s Foreign Military Sales
Foreign Military Sales
The U.S. Department of Defense's Foreign Military Sales program facilitates sales of U.S. arms, defense equipment, defense services, and military training to foreign governments...

 (FMS) program.

In March 2011, Australia's Minister for Defence Stephen Smith
Stephen Smith (Australian politician)
Stephen Francis Smith , is the Australian Minister for Defence. He has been an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian House of Representatives since March 1993, representing the Division of Perth, Western Australia....

 announced that the nation had sent a Letter of Request to the United States about the possible purchase of a fifth C-17. Australia ordered its fifth C-17 through the FMS program on 18 April 2011, due to an increased demand for humanitarian and disaster relief missions. Due to urgent requirements, the RAAF will receive an aircraft in August originally slated for the USAF.

Commercial interest


In the mid-1990s, McDonnell Douglas began to market the C-17 to commercial civilian operators, under the name MD-17. Due to its high projected fuel, maintenance and depreciation cost for a low-cycle military design in commercial service, as well as a limited market dominated by the An-124
Antonov An-124
The Antonov An-124 Ruslan is a strategic airlift jet aircraft. It was designed by the Ukrainian SSR's Antonov design bureau, then part of the Soviet Union. It is the world's largest ever serially-manufactured cargo airplane and world's second largest operating cargo aircraft...

, very little interest was expressed. After McDonnell Douglas merged with Boeing, the commercial version was renamed BC-17. However, the aircraft received no orders and Boeing stopped offering the BC-17 for sale
Commercial Application of Military Airlift Aircraft
Commercial Application of Military Airlift Aircraft is a joint initiative between the United States Air Force , Boeing, and academia designed as a means to mitigate Congressionally ordered end-of-Cold War force reduction through directives such as the Base Realignment and Closure Act...

.

Deliveries

1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
1 4 5 8 6 6 7 10 11 13 14 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 14 11

Sources: C-17 Globemaster III Pocket Guide, Boeing IDS Major Deliveries

Variants



  • C-17A: Initial military airlifter version.

  • C-17A "ER": Unofficial name for C-17As with extended range due to the addition of the center wing tank. This upgrade was incorporated in production beginning in 2001 with Block 13 aircraft.

  • C-17B: Proposed tactical airlifter version. The design includes double-slotted flaps, an additional main landing gear on center fuselage, more powerful engines and other systems for shorter landing and take-off distances. Boeing offered the C-17B to the US military in 2007 for carrying the Army's Future Combat Systems
    Future Combat Systems
    Future Combat Systems was the United States Army's principal modernization program from 2003 to early 2009. Formally launched in 2003, FCS was envisioned to create new brigades equipped with new manned and unmanned vehicles linked by an unprecedented fast and flexible battlefield network...

     (FCS) vehicles and other equipment.

Operators



  • Royal Australian Air Force
    Royal Australian Air Force
    The Royal Australian Air Force is the air force branch of the Australian Defence Force. The RAAF was formed in March 1921. It continues the traditions of the Australian Flying Corps , which was formed on 22 October 1912. The RAAF has taken part in many of the 20th century's major conflicts...

     has five C-17ERs in service, with a Foreign Military Sales
    Foreign Military Sales
    The U.S. Department of Defense's Foreign Military Sales program facilitates sales of U.S. arms, defense equipment, defense services, and military training to foreign governments...

     request for a sixth.
    • No. 36 Squadron
      No. 36 Squadron RAAF
      No. 36 Squadron is a Royal Australian Air Force transport squadron. It currently operates C-17 Globemaster III aircraft from RAAF Base Amberley. The Squadron has seen active service flying transport aircraft during World War II, the Berlin Airlift, Korean War, Vietnam War and the invasion of Iraq...



  • Royal Canadian Air Force
    Royal Canadian Air Force
    The history of the Royal Canadian Air Force begins in 1920, when the air force was created as the Canadian Air Force . In 1924 the CAF was renamed the Royal Canadian Air Force and granted royal sanction by King George V. The RCAF existed as an independent service until 1968...

    , formerly Canadian Forces Air Command, has 4 C-17ERs
    • 429 Transport Squadron
      No. 429 Squadron RCAF
      429 Transport Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force is one of three transport squadrons attached to CFB Trenton in Trenton, Ontario. The squadron was originally formed as a bomber squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force attached to RAF Bomber Command during the Second World War.-History:The...

      , CFB Trenton
      CFB Trenton
      Canadian Forces Base Trenton , is a Canadian Forces base located northeast of Trenton, Ontario. It is operated as an air force base by the Royal Canadian Air Force and is the hub for air transport operations in Canada and abroad...



  • Indian Air Force
    Indian Air Force
    The Indian Air Force is the air arm of the Indian armed forces. Its primary responsibility is to secure Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare during a conflict...

     has signed an agreement with the US government to buy 10 C-17s with an option for 6 more. India's contract with Boeing is pending. The entire contract is around $ 5.8 billion.


  NATO
  • Heavy Airlift Wing
    NATO Strategic Airlift Capability
    The Strategic Airlift Capability is a consortium of 12 nations, 10 of which are member states of NATO and two of which are Partners For Peace, to pool together resources to purchase and operate Boeing C-17 Globemaster III aircraft for joint strategic airlift purposes.The SAC concept was...

    : 3 in service, including 1 C-17 contributed by the USAF.


  • Qatari Emiri Air Force
    Military of Qatar
    The Qatar Armed Forces are the military forces of Qatar. The country maintains a modest military force of approximately 11,800 men, including an army , navy and air force . Qatar's defense expenditures accounted for approximately 4.2% of gross national product in 1993...

     has two C-17As in use.


  • United Arab Emirates Air Force
    United Arab Emirates Air Force
    The United Arab Emirates Air Force is the air force of the United Arab Emirates . Its predecessor was established in 1968, when the Emirates were still under British rule. Since then, it has undergone a continual reorganization and expansion in terms of both capability and numbers of aircraft...

     has six C-17As on order; the second was handed over in June 2011.


  • Royal Air Force
    Royal Air Force
    The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

     has 7 C-17ERs in service.
    • No. 99 Squadron
      No. 99 Squadron RAF
      No. 99 Squadron of the Royal Air Force was a bomber squadron in both first and second world war. At present it operates the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III from RAF Brize Norton, the RAF's air transport hub. The squadron was the first RAF unit to receive the Avro Aldershot, Handley Page Hyderabad,...

      , RAF Brize Norton
      RAF Brize Norton
      RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, about west north-west of London, is the largest station of the Royal Air Force. It is close to the settlements of Brize Norton, Carterton and Witney....



  • United States Air Force
    United States Air Force
    The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

     has 203 total (70 C-17, 133 C-17ER) in inventory as of November 2010. 223 funded with 10 remaining on order in June 2010.

    • 3rd Wing
      • 517th Airlift Squadron
        517th Airlift Squadron
        The 517th Airlift Squadron is part of the 3d Wing at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska. It operates C-12 Huron and C-17 Globemaster III aircraft providing airlfit in the Pacific theater.-Mission:...

    • 15th Airlift Wing
      15th Airlift Wing
      The 15th Wing is a wing of the United States Air Force at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. It is the airlift arm of Pacific Air Forces and United States Pacific Command and reports directly to the commander, Pacific Air Forces.-Mission:...

      • 535th Airlift Squadron
        535th Airlift Squadron
        The 535th Airlift Squadron is part of the 15th Wing at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii. It operates C-17 Globemaster III aircraft providing airlfit in the Pacific theater.-History:...

    • 60th Air Mobility Wing
      60th Air Mobility Wing
      The 60th Air Mobility Wing is the host unit at Travis Air Force Base in California. It is the largest air mobility organization in the United States Air Force and is responsible for strategic airlift and aerial refueling missions around the world...

      • 21st Airlift Squadron
        21st Airlift Squadron
        The 21st Airlift Squadron is part of the 60th Air Mobility Wing at Travis Air Force Base, California. It operates C-17 Globemaster III aircraft supporting the United States Air Force global reach mission world wide.-Mission:...

    • 62nd Airlift Wing
      • 4th Airlift Squadron
        4th Airlift Squadron
        The 4th Airlift Squadron is part of the 62d Airlift Wing at McChord Air Force Base, Washington. It operates C-17 Globemaster III aircraft supporting the United States Air Force global reach mission world wide.-Mission:...

      • 7th Airlift Squadron
        7th Airlift Squadron
        The 7th Airlift Squadron is part of the 62d Airlift Wing as McChord Air Force Base, Washington. It operates C-17 Globemaster III aircraft supporting the United States Air Force global reach mission world wide.-History:...

      • 8th Airlift Squadron
        8th Airlift Squadron
        The 8th Airlift Squadron is part of the 62d Airlift Wing as McChord Air Force Base, Washington. It operates C-17 Globemaster III aircraft supporting the United States Air Force global reach mission world wide.-History:...

      • 10th Airlift Squadron
        10th Airlift Squadron
        The 10th Airlift Squadron is part of the 62d Airlift Wing as McChord Air Force Base, Washington. It operates C-17 Globemaster III aircraft supporting the United States Air Force global reach mission world wide.-History:...

    • 97th Air Mobility Wing
      97th Air Mobility Wing
      The 97th Air Mobility Wing is a United States Air Force unit assigned to the Air Education and Training Command Nineteenth Air Force. It is stationed at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma. The wing is also the host unit at Altus...

      • 58th Airlift Squadron
        58th Airlift Squadron
        The 58th Airlift Squadron is part of the 97th Air Mobility Wing at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma. It operates C-17 Globemaster III aircraft training pilots for airlift and airdrop operations.-Mission:...

    • 154th Wing
      154th Wing
      The United States Air Force 154th Wing is the operational component of the Hawaii Air National Guard. It is stationed at Hickam Field, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.-Overview:...

      , ANG
      • 204th Airlift Squadron
        204th Airlift Squadron
        The 204th Airlift Squadron flies the C-17 Globemaster III. It is a unit of the Hawaii Air National Guard. Its parent unit is the 154th Wing.-External links:...

    • 172nd Airlift Wing, ANG
      • 183rd Airlift Squadron
    • 176th Wing
      176th Wing
      The 176th Wing is the largest unit of the Alaska Air National Guard. It is a composite wing — meaning a wing which operates more than one type of aircraft — operating out of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska...

      , ANG
      • 249th Airlift Squadron
        249th Airlift Squadron
        The 249th Airlift Squadron flies the C-17 Globemaster III . It is a unit of the Alaska Air National Guard. Its parent unit is the 176th Wing.-Mission:...

    • 105th Airlift Wing
      105th Airlift Wing
      The United States Air Force's 105th Airlift Wing is an Air National Guard airlift unit operationally-gained by the Air Mobility Command and located at Stewart ANGB, New York.-History:...

      , ANG
      • 137th Airlift Squadron
        137th Airlift Squadron
        The 137th Airlift Squadron flies the C-5 Galaxy and the C-17A Globemaster III. It is a unit of the New York Air National Guard. Its parent unit is the 105th Airlift Wing.-Mission:...

    • 305th Air Mobility Wing
      305th Air Mobility Wing
      The 305th Air Mobility Wing is a United States Air Force strategic airlift and air refueling wing under the operational control of the Air Mobility Command...

      • 6th Airlift Squadron
        6th Airlift Squadron
        The 6th Airlift Squadron is part of the 305th Air Mobility Wing at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. It operates the C-17 Globemaster III supporting the United States Air Force global reach mission world wide...

    • 315th Airlift Wing
      315th Airlift Wing
      The 315th Airlift Wing is a wing of the United States Air Force Reserve. It is stationed at Charleston Air Force Base, in the City of North Charleston, South Carolina...

      , AFRC
      • 300th Airlift Squadron
        300th Airlift Squadron
        The 300th Airlift Squadron is part of the 315th Airlift Wing at Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina. It operates C-17 Globemaster III aircraft supporting the United States Air Force global reach mission world wide.-History:...

      • 317th Airlift Squadron
        317th Airlift Squadron
        The 317th Airlift Squadron is part of the 315th Airlift Wing at Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina. It operates C-17 Globemaster III aircraft supporting the United States Air Force global reach mission world wide.-Mission:...

      • 701st Airlift Squadron
        701st Airlift Squadron
        The 701st Airlift Squadron is part of the 315th Airlift Wing at Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina. It operates C-17 Globemaster III aircraft providing global airlfit.-Mission:...


    • 349th Air Mobility Wing
      349th Air Mobility Wing
      The 349th Air Mobility Wing is the largest associate reserve wing in the United States Air Force. In partnership with its active duty host wing, the 60th Air Mobility Wing the 349 AMW flies, maintains and supports the C-5 Galaxy, KC-10 Extender, C-17 Globemaster III...

      , AFRC
      • 301st Airlift Squadron
        301st Airlift Squadron
        The 301st Airlift Squadron is part of the 349th Air Mobility Wing at Travis Air Force Base, California. It operates C-17 Globemaster III aircraft providing global airlift.-History:...

    • 412th Test Wing
      412th Test Wing
      The 412th Test Wing is a wing of the United States Air Force, assigned to the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California.-Overview:...

      • 418th Flight Test Squadron
        418th Flight Test Squadron
        The 418th Flight Test Squadron is part of the 412th Test Wing and is based at Edwards Air Force Base, California. It performs flight testing on MC-130H Combat Talon II and AC-130U Spooky aircraft.-History:...

    • 436th Airlift Wing
      436th Airlift Wing
      The 436th Airlift Wing is an active United States Air Force unit. It is assigned to the Air Mobility Command Eighteenth Air Force, and is based at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware....

      • 3rd Airlift Squadron
    • 437th Airlift Wing
      437th Airlift Wing
      The 437th Airlift Wing is an active unit of the United States Air Force, assigned to 18th Air Force, Air Mobility Command. It is the mission wing at Charleston Air Force Base, Joint Base Charleston, in the City of North Charleston, South Carolina....

      • 14th Airlift Squadron
        14th Airlift Squadron
        The 14th Airlift Squadron is part of the 437th Airlift Wing at Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina. It operates C-17 Globemaster III aircraft supporting the United States Air Force global reach mission world wide.-Mission:...

      • 15th Airlift Squadron
        15th Airlift Squadron
        The 15th Airlift Squadron is part of the 437th Airlift Wing at Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina. It operates C-17 Globemaster III aircraft supporting the United States Air Force global reach mission world wide.-History:...

      • 16th Airlift Squadron
        16th Airlift Squadron
        The 16th Airlift Squadron is one squadron of four active duty C-17A Globemaster III squadrons at Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina....

      • 17th Airlift Squadron
        17th Airlift Squadron
        The 17th Airlift Squadron is one of four active duty C-17A Globemaster III squadrons at Charleston AFB, SC.The 17th Airlift Squadron is commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel, who serves as head of the squadron and the pilots...

    • 445th Airlift Wing
      445th Airlift Wing
      The 445th Airlift Wing is an operational wing of the United States Air Force Reserve. It is headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, near Dayton, Ohio...

      , AFRC
      • 89th Airlift Squadron
        89th Airlift Squadron
        The 89th Airlift Squadron is part of the 445th Airlift Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. It operates C-5 Galaxy aircraft providing strategic, global airlift.-History:...

    • 446th Airlift Wing
      446th Airlift Wing
      The 446th Airlift Wing is a United States Air Force Reserve unit. The wing is stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. If ordered to Active Service, the unit would come under the Air Mobility Command 15th Expeditionary Mobility Task Force....

      , AFRC
      • 97th Airlift Squadron
        97th Airlift Squadron
        The 97th Airlift Squadron is part of the 446th Airlift Wing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. It operates C-17 Globemaster III aircraft supporting the United States Air Force global reach mission world wide.-History:...

      • 313th Airlift Squadron
        313th Airlift Squadron
        The 313th Airlift Squadron is located at McChord Air Force Base, Washington. It is part of the 446th Airlift Wing and operationally flies the C-17 Globemaster jet transport. The mission of the 313 AS consists of airlift, aerial delivery, and aerial refueling on a worldwide basis...

      • 728th Airlift Squadron
        728th Airlift Squadron
        The 728th Airlift Squadron is located at McChord Air Force Base, Washington. It is part of the 446th Airlift Wing and operates the C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft. The mission of the 728th AS is to provide mission-ready aircrews for operational support for strategic and tactical airlift,...

    • 452nd Air Mobility Wing, AFRC
      • 729th Airlift Squadron
        729th Airlift Squadron
        The 729th Airlift Squadron is part of the 452d Air Mobility Wing at March Air Reserve Base, California. It operates C-17 Globemaster III aircraft providing global airlift.-Mission:...

    • 512th Airlift Wing
      512th Airlift Wing
      The 512th Airlift Wing, an associate C-5 Galaxy Air Force Reserve unit is located at Dover AFB, Delaware. The 512 AW helps maintain, repair and flies the same aircraft as its active duty counterparts...

      , AFRC
      • 326th Airlift Squadron
        326th Airlift Squadron
        The 326th Airlift Squadron is part of the 512th Airlift Wing at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. It operates C-17 Globemaster III aircraft supporting the United States Air Force global reach mission world wide.-Mission:...

    • 514th Air Mobility Wing
      514th Air Mobility Wing
      The 514th Air Mobility Wing is a wing of the United States Air Force based out of McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey.-History:...

      , AFRC
      • 732nd Airlift Squadron


Accidents and incidents



  • On 10 September 1998, a U.S. Air Force C-17 (AF Serial No.96-0006) suffered a landing gear failure as it landed in Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland, a 3800 feet (1,158.2 m) runway, to deliver Keiko
    Keiko (orca)
    Keiko was a male orca / actor who starred in the film Free Willy and was perhaps the most famous of captive orcas.- History :...

     the whale. After receiving temporary repairs, it was flown to another city in Iceland for further repairs. The total repair bill topped $1 million.

  • On 10 December 2003, a U.S. Air Force C-17 (AF Serial No. 98-0057) was hit by a surface-to-air missile
    Surface-to-air missile
    A surface-to-air missile or ground-to-air missile is a missile designed to be launched from the ground to destroy aircraft or other missiles...

     after take-off from Baghdad, Iraq. One engine was disabled and the aircraft returned for a safe landing. The aircraft was repaired and returned to service.

  • On 6 August 2005, a U.S. Air Force C-17 (AF Serial No. 01-0196) ran off the runway at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan while attempting to land, destroying the aircraft's nose and main landing gear. At the time, it was the most extensively damaged C-17 to date. A Boeing recovery team spent two months getting the aircraft ready to fly back to Boeing's Long Beach production facility. The five-day flight back to the United States had to be performed by a test pilot
    Test pilot
    A test pilot is an aviator who flies new and modified aircraft in specific maneuvers, known as flight test techniques or FTTs, allowing the results to be measured and the design to be evaluated....

     because the temporary repairs caused numerous performance limitations. The repair was completed at Long Beach in October 2006 and the aircraft returned to service.


  • On 30 January 2009, a U.S. Air Force C-17 (AF Serial No. 96-0002 – "Spirit of the Air Force") made a gear-up landing
    Belly landing
    A belly landing or gear-up landing occurs when an aircraft lands without its landing gear fully extended and uses its underside, or belly, as its primary landing device...

     at Bagram Air Base
    Bagram Air Base
    Bagram Airfield, also referred to as Bagram Air Base, is a militarized airport and housing complex that is located next to the ancient city of Bagram, southeast of Charikar in Parwan province of Afghanistan. The base is run by a US Army division headed by a major general. A large part of the base,...

    . The C-17 was ferried from Bagram AB, making several stops along the way, to Boeing's plant in Long Beach, California, for extensive repairs to return it to service. The USAF Aircraft Accident Investigation Board concluded the incident was caused by the crew's failure to lower the landing gear
    Undercarriage
    The undercarriage or landing gear in aviation, is the structure that supports an aircraft on the ground and allows it to taxi, takeoff and land...

     and having not followed the pre-landing checklist
    Checklist
    A checklist is a type of informational job aid used to reduce failure by compensating for potential limits of human memory and attention. It helps to ensure consistency and completeness in carrying out a task...

    .

  • On 28 July 2010, a U.S. Air Force C-17 (AF Serial No. 00-0173 – "Spirit of the Aleutians") crashed on Elmendorf Air Force Base
    Elmendorf Air Force Base
    Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson is a United States military facility adjacent to Anchorage, the largest city in Alaska. It is an amalgamation of the former United States Air Force Elmendorf Air Force Base and the United States Army Fort Richardson, which were merged in 2010.-Overview:The...

    , Alaska during a training flight, killing all four aboard. It was practicing for the 2010 Arctic Thunder Air Show
    Arctic Thunder Air Show
    The Arctic Thunder Air Show is an air show and open house event held bi annually at Elmendorf Air Force Base outside of Anchorage, Alaska since 1990. It is a free event open to the general public and one of the largest public events in Alaska...

    . The C-17 crashed near a railroad, damaged tracks and disrupted rail operations. A military investigative report determined that a stall
    Stall (flight)
    In fluid dynamics, a stall is a reduction in the lift coefficient generated by a foil as angle of attack increases. This occurs when the critical angle of attack of the foil is exceeded...

     caused by pilot error led to the crash. This is the first fatal operational C-17 accident and its first hull-loss incident
    Aviation accidents and incidents
    An aviation accident is defined in the Convention on International Civil Aviation Annex 13 as an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft which takes place between the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight and all such persons have disembarked, in which a...

    .

Specifications (C-17)


See also


External links