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March receives AFRC's first C-17

by Bo Joyner
Air Force Reserve Command Public Affairs

8/11/2005 - MARCH AIR RESERVE BASE, Calif. (AFPN)  -- The 452nd Air Mobility Wing here received Air Force Reserve Command’s first C-17 Globemaster III Aug. 9.

Maj. Gen. Robert E. Duignan, 4th Air Force commander, and an aircrew from the 452nd AMW made the flight from the Boeing’s Long Beach, Calif., facility to the base.

“We’re extremely proud and excited to receive Air Force Reserve Command’s first C-17 here at March,” General Duignan said. “It’s an extraordinary aircraft that increases our ability to accomplish our total force, global-reach mission, which is critical to the war on terrorism. The 452nd is the first Reserve wing to receive the Globemaster III, and it will continue to demonstrate the capacity of our citizen Airmen to serve America.”

This delivery marks the first time an AFRC unit will actually “own” a C-17. Associate units at McChord AFB, Wash. and Charleston Air Force Base, S.C., share C-17s, as well as flying and maintenance responsibilities with active-duty Airmen.

Eight more C-17s will be delivered to the unit by January to replace the
wing’s aging fleet of C-141 Starlifters, the last of which was retired earlier this year. The base is undergoing a $50-million facilities upgrade and infrastructure improvement to accommodate the new aircraft.

“When these airplanes hit the ramp in March, they won’t be there for long. They will be off taking the fight to the enemy in the war on terrorism,” General Duignan said. “This aircraft allows us to get to the fight much quicker with bigger payloads, which allows those Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen fighting on a daily basis to get the job done.”

“We are open for business,” said Brig. Gen. James Rubeor, 452nd AMW commander, explaining that wing aircrews and maintainers have been training for this day for the past several years. About half of the 452nd’s aircrews and maintainers are already fully qualified on the C-17, said.

The C-17 fleet has amassed more than 850,000 flying hours and in the global war on terrorism and has flown combat missions for more than 1,400 consecutive days
with record-setting reliability rates. With a payload of 160,000 pounds, the C-17 can take off from a 7,600-foot airfield, fly 2,400 nautical miles and land on a dirt runway in 3,000 feet or less.

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