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AFB Welcomes First C-17 Globemaster III (Sept. 29)

MCGUIRE AIR FORCE BASE, N.J --- People here welcomed the nation’s newest, most modern airlifter Sept. 24 during a special arrival ceremony.

“The Spirit of New Jersey” is the first of 13 C-17 Globemaster IIIs McGuire will eventually receive.

“It is just a wonderful day for McGuire,” said Gen. John W. Handy, commander of U.S. Transportation Command and Air Mobility Command. “Combining the modern capabilities of the C-17 and KC-10 (Extender refueling tanker) at McGuire allows the base to deliver cargo and troops very quickly and efficiently anywhere in the world to support the global war on terrorism.”

The aircraft was flown by the 305th Air Mobility Wing commander, Col. J.J. Jackson.

“The arrival of C-17s, the nation’s newest airlifter, represents a great mission milestone for McGuire,” Colonel Jackson said. “We will now have the Air Force’s most capable airlifter coupled with its most capable air-refueling aircraft.”

After the ceremony, people toured the new aircraft, and crewmembers were on hand to answer questions and explain the aircraft’s unique capabilities.

“The C-17 has the tactical capabilities of the C-130 (Hercules), with the range of a C-5 (Galaxy),” said Capt. Garrett Gulish, chief of C-17 training for the 305th Operations Support Squadron. “Its biggest strength is its ability to go into austere (airfields) anywhere in the world.”

The C-17 will replace the C-141B Starlifters that retired from active duty here Sept. 16. More than $85 million in military construction projects are under way here to support the C-17 mission. Some include the construction of a flight simulator, maintenance hangar, interim fuel cell, consolidated flightline operations facility and maintenance training facility.

“As you look at transitioning out of an incredibly older aircraft into the nation’s newest, most modern airlifter, it’s a significant day in the life of McGuire, TRANSCOM and AMC,” General Handy said.

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Mcguire Welcomes First C-17 Globemaster III