Canada Gets Last C-17

The Royal Canadian Air Force accepted delivery of its fifth and final CC-177 (the Canadian designation for the C-17) on March 30 in Trenton, Ontario, according to a March 30 RCAF release. Canadian Defense Minister Jason Kenney, who joined RCAF Commander Lt. Gen. Yvan Blondin to welcome the aircraft, said the five airlifters give Canada an advantage in “projecting our presence around the world.” He also noted Canadian forces and equipment can now move around the world quickly in response to “urgent military and humanitarian missions.” The extra Globemaster extends the life expectancy of the Canadian fleet by around seven years, and the RCAF is now projected to have at least three CC-177s available for operations about 90 percent of the time—a nearly 25 percent jump in airlift capability. Canada’s Globemaster fleet has been instrumental in the deployment of Canadian forces to support counter-ISIS operations in Iraq and Syria, in the country’s Arctic territory, and has delivered supplies to RCAF fighters supporting NATO reassurance initiatives in Europe. Boeing anticipates closing the California production line of the airlifter for good by mid-2015, based on current and expected international orders.