Boeing and the U.S. Air National Guard on Feb. 2 marked the 164th Airlift Wing’s transition to the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III, making Memphis Air National Guard Base the latest to receive the advanced airlifter.
The unit’s first C-17 arrived Dec. 18. A total of eight will be delivered by the end of 2014 as replacements for C-5A Galaxy airlifters.
“Memphis Air National Guard Base enters a new phase in its rich history with the arrival of the C-17,” said Boeing Vice President and C-17 Program Manager Nan Bouchard. “The C-17 brings the unit new capabilities and builds on a long-standing tradition of distinguished service. Boeing will be there every step of the way supporting these advanced airlifters.”
Boeing has delivered 250 C-17s to the U.S. Air Force and customers around the world.
The C-17 is the only airlifter offering tactical and strategic airlift capabilities as well as the ability to carry equipment and troops, or humanitarian aid, over intercontinental distances. It is uniquely maneuverable, able to operate on narrow taxiways and congested ramps. With a payload of 164,900 pounds, it can take off from a 7,000-foot airfield and land in 3,000 feet or less.
Boeing supports C-17s through the C-17 Globemaster III Integrated Sustainment Program (GISP) Performance-Based Logistics contract, which offers global and affordable availability of parts and materials and ensures the highest of airlifter mission-capable rates.
“Our customers depend on us to make sure that when they need a C-17, there is one available and mission-capable,” said Gus Urzua, Boeing vice president and GISP program manager.
The 164th Airlift Wing’s distinguished history includes Hurricane Katrina humanitarian relief missions, combat operations in Iraq, and the famous Memphis Belle Boeing-built B-17, which was one of the first bombers during World War II to complete 25 combat missions with its crew intact.