17th Airlift Squadron [17th AS]
The 17th Airlift Squadron, Air Mobility Command's Squadron of the Year in 1996 and 1997, had its beginnings as the 17th Air Corps Ferrying Squadron located at Hamilton Field, CA, in February 1942. Since 1942, the 17th has flown numerous aircraft, including B-17's, B-24's, B-25's, C-54's, C-124's and C-141's.
While the name and aircraft have changed throughout the years, the job of the 17th AS has always been transportation. The 17th AS was the first operational squadron in the Air Force to convert, in June of 1993, to the Boeing/McDonnell Douglas C-17A Globemaster III, the premiere tactical and strategic airlifter in the world. The 17th AS uses the C-17A in a variety of missions, including formation low level airdrop, air refueling, aeromedical evacuation, emergency nuclear airlift, and steep approaches into short, semi-prepared airfields.
To accomplish these tasks the squadron employs approximately 140 officers, enlisted and civilian personnel. The 17th AS carries troops and cargo worldwide in support of national objectives, as well as carrying the President of the United States, which it did in 1996 to war-torn Bosnia.
A few of the important operations the squadron has participated in include SOUTHERN WATCH in Southwest Asia, JOINT ENDEAVOR in Bosnia, and CENTRAZBAT 97, an eight-aircraft, 20.7-hour, nonstop formation airdrop mission from Pope AFB, NC to Chimkent Drop Zone, Kazakhstan, delivering six High Mobility Multiwheeled Vehicles (Humvees for short) and 540 paratroopers on time and on target. The men and women of the 17th AS have also provided humanitarian relief to Central America, Puerto Rico and the Northeast United States.
The 17th has accomplished all this while amassing an impressive 315,000 hours of accident-free flying over the last 50+ years.
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