by Jenny Gordon
78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
5/8/2015 - ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- The
Air Force's C-17 Globemaster fleet celebrated a milestone this week --
reaching 3 million flying hours, a significant feat considering the
first aircraft was delivered to Joint Base Charleston, S.C., more than
20 years ago.
Officials from Robins, flight crews and distinguished visitors
from Joint Base Charleston met at both bases earlier this week in a
display of partnership and collaboration to celebrate the
accomplishments of the men and women who've played a part in making the
aircraft a success across the globe.
"In the relatively short lifetime of the fleet, when you look across all
of the Air Force's weapon systems, that's a pretty big milestone," said
Col. Amanda Myers, C-17 System Program Office director. "This signifies
all the work that the C-17 has done, what the operators have been able
to do with this aircraft, and all the capabilities it has brought to our
Department of Defense."
Robins is home to the Air Force's C-17 System Program Office, and the
562nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, whose 625 personnel are responsible
for the heavy maintenance and overhaul of the aircraft.
The C-17 SPO at Robins -- with personnel colocated at Wright-Patterson
Air Force Base, Ohio -- includes foreign military sales and Boeing
representatives responsible for the sustainment, modification,
maintenance and overall service of the entire fleet.
"We've challenged our employees to build something better, and I will
tell you with the C-17 we've accomplished just that -- the world's
premier airlifter," said retired Maj. Gen. Robert McMahon, Boeing
director of field operations and former Warner Robins Air Logistics
Center commander. "But as important as the airplane is, it's really all
about the people. We in Boeing are proud of those that design and built
this airplane, those that today maintain and sustain this aircraft, both
in the U.S. Air Force and in our eight international partners, as well
as within the SPO and the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex."
Although the Air Force received its final C-17 Globemaster III in 2013
-- its 223rd aircraft, which was delivered to Joint Base Charleston that
September -- Robins will continue to manage and maintain the fleet for
decades to come.
"Our role here is still very significant for the lifetime of the
aircraft," said Myers. "The C-17 Program Office will be responsible for
the operational safety, suitability and effectiveness of the fleet, with
everything we do fitting into that realm. As aircraft get into a
sustainment phase and start to age, that will become more important to
make sure we understand what the aircraft is doing, and how it responds
to the environments we put it in.
"There's still quite a bit of work going on to make sure we keep it
performing at the level it is today, and that it can provide the same
level of service and mission capabilities that everyone has come to
expect," she said.
The Air Force's newest, most flexible cargo aircraft continues missions
across the globe -- most recently humanitarian assistance to aid
earthquake victims in Nepal.
"The C-17 goes where and when the nation calls, whether that is to go to
war or to promote peace," said Myers. "Along with Boeing we enjoy a
strong, effective relationship with the Warner Robins Air Logistics
Complex. The work you do every day is essential to increasing capability
and maintaining the aircraft to the high level of performance that our
nation has come to expect."