28 March 2006

C-17 Globemaster Fleet Passes One Millionth Flying Hour Mark

Congratulations and thank you to the aircrew and aeromedical evacuation team on this historic flight. You represent one million hours of the dedication and professionalism demonstrated by all of our evac teams.

Photo by Master Sgt. John E. Lasky

MILLION MILESTONE: 791st EAES sees C-17 surpass millionth flying hour

Members of the 791st Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron on a routine air evacuation mission from Iraq helped see the C-17 Globemaster fleet past the one millionth flying hour mark on their return to Ramstein Monday.

The C-17, from the Mississippi Air National Guard’s 172nd Airlift Wing, arrived here after a more than 14-hour mission that started late on Sunday.

The aircraft first delivered 43,000 pounds of cargo to Al Asad, Iraq. Then it flew to Balad to pick up 16 patients, including some critically wounded. The turnaround at Balad went like clockwork, said Col. William Hill, 172nd AW commander.

“We were in and out of Balad quickly,” he said. “Everything went real well.”

On board, the aircrew and aeromedical evacuation team focused on the patients. The team was a mixture of active duty, Guard and Reserve Airmen. There was even a flight lieutenant from the Royal Air Force on board. For them, the mission did not end until the patients were safely aboard ambulances bound for Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, about six miles away.

“It was a good flight. There were no emergencies in flight. Even the one critical care patient did well,” said Capt. David Strickland, nurse and guardsman from the Mississippi Guard’s 183rd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron. “The C-17 is made for this kind of mission − it’s the best plane for the job. It’s very ‘air evac’ friendly.”

From Aero-News Network:

Earlier this week, Boeing and the Air Force announced the fleet of C-17 Globemaster III airlifters currently in service reached one million flying hours -- the equivalent of one of the cargo jets flying continuously for more than 114 years. The million-mile mark was achieved on a mission Monday evacuating injured US troops from Iraq, and transporting them to Germany for medical treatment.

The Air Force selected this C-17 and its crew -- comprised of active duty US Air Force (USAF), Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve and Royal Air Force members -- to represent the entire fleet.

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