The Air Force relies heavily on its newest strategic airlifter to fly much of the tactical airlift in the US Central Command area of responsibility, evidenced by the numbers wracked up last month by the 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron. Capt. Michael Andrews reports that the 816th EAS’s C-17s flew 44,945 passengers out of some 52,000 total throughout Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Horn of Africa. And, the unit delivered more than 36 million pounds of cargo.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.