(Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., August 2, 2010) -- The 305th Air Mobility Wing received a new C-17 Globemaster III during a ceremony here July 30.
The C-17 is the last of three aircraft being added to the 305th AMW inventory as part of a congressionally-mandated increase in the number of Globemasters throughout Air Mobility Command.
"With aerial refueling support, often provided by our KC-10s, the C-17 helps define Air Mobility Command's Global Reach every day. The 305th Air Mobility Wing's newest C-17 - America's 200th tail - will be employed in that capacity within days," said Col. Scott Smith, 305th AMW commander. "It is a visible example of how the Air Force swiftly translates technology into warfighting - the most sophisticated airlifter rolls off the production line and will land on the front lines to sustain our forces forward."
The new aircraft feature new software and improved GPS, which are expected to increase the crew's capabilities.
Lt. Gen. Mark Shackelford, the military deputy for the office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, officially delivered the aircraft to the McGuire Airfield after flying the aircraft from Boeing's production plant in California.
The C-17 is one of the most versatile aircraft coming off the production line, said Colonel Smith. Its design allows it to operate through the small, austere airfields and still deliver C-5 outsize loads. The C-17, can transport more than 100 troops or 170,900 pounds of cargo, can take off and land on runways as short as 3,500 feet long and only 90 feet wide. Even on such narrow runways, the aircraft can turn around using a three-point star turn.
"This C-17 will help exponentially," said Lt. Col. Bryan Wood, 6th Airlift Squadron operations officer. "It will immediately help provide combat airlift in our role of supporting our combatant commanders."
With this addition, the wing is host to a fleet of 16 C-17s as well as 32 KC-10 Extender aerial tankers. The wing already supports frequent missions to combat zones in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as global humanitarian crises, like the recent evacuation of people affected by the earthquake that struck Haiti in January.
"It's a fantastic capability, and critical to American engagement strategies," said Colonel Smith. "We're thrilled to have the added Global Reach capability here at JB MDL. And trust me, jet No. 88200 will do her part for today's fight!"
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