A film crew from the Discovery Channel’s “Mighty Planes” series visited JB Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, for a week in late September to shoot footage of C-17 transport operations for an upcoming episode. That episode is tentatively slated to run in the spring of 2013, according to an Oct. 3 base release. The film crew worked with members of Elmendorf’s parent 3rd Wing, but interacted most closely with airmen of the 517th Airlift Squadron, the base’s C-17 unit. “The thing that blew me away is a plane that big can be that nimble in the air,” said Stephen Grant, director of the “Mighty Planes” C-17 episode, in the release. The film crew flew on a C-17 with 75 paratroopers aboard. Despite that load, the airplane seemed like “it could turn on a dime,” said Grant. “When that thing accelerated over the mountains, you could feel it and it was awesome,” he added. (Elmendorf report by SSgt. Zachary Wolf)
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.