C-17: Airframe of Choice Published July 28, 2006 By Tech. Sgt. Chris Vadnais Air Force Print News HICKAM AIR FORCE BASE, Hawaii -- Whether the mission involves moving people to safety, delivering relief supplies to victims of natural disasters, or delivering war fighting assets to forward locations, the C-17 Globemaster III is fast becoming the air force’s aircraft of choice. With 13 years of service to the US Air Force, the C-17 has seen its share of action. Pilots and crews love it, and Air Force leaders rely on it. The more missions the Globemaster III is assigned, the more value it provides to today’s Air Force. The C-17’s great reputation is based on its capabilities: it can quickly carry more than 100,000 pounds of cargo to a location 2400 miles away, and its range can be extended worldwide through mid-air refueling. Its ability to land on short, unpaved surfaces makes simple work of getting troops and supplies into and out of harm’s way, and it only takes a crew three to operate it. All this adds up to one great multipurpose airlift tool. “Business with the C-17 stretches all the way from humanitarian relief as we did with the tsunami relief into pakistan and india with the earthquake victims, all the way to carrying supplies to our troops, our soldiers, our sailors, our airmen, our marines and our coastguardsmen, who are representing each and everyone of us doing america’s business in harm’s way.” Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, has welcomed the eighth and final C-17 to its fleet, and Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, will be next to host the strategic airlifter. With C-17s in Alaska and Hawaii as well as on both coasts of the mainland, there will be no place on earth out of reach--no matter what the mission.