The West Virginia Air National Guard’s 167th Airlift Wing recently flew its first C-17 training sortie from Martinsburg since converting from the C-5A, reported the local Montgomery Herald. “The fact that this sortie was able to happen ahead of schedule and without a hitch is a tribute to the hard work of all those who have been working this conversion over the last year,” said pilot Capt. Justin McCabe in the newspaper’s Jan. 13 report. The unit received its first C-17 last September, and is scheduled to have in place its eight C-17s by July. The inaugural C-17 sortie was originally planned for this month, but the unit managed to conduct its first two-hour local training flight from its base at Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport on Dec. 18. The wing’s remaining C-5As are due to depart by May for retirement at Davis Monthan AFB, Ariz.
Three B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing flew over the Indo-Pacific alongside F-16s from the Japanese Air Self Defense Force recently, as part of a joint large force exercise. The mission began and ended in the continental U.S., as the bombers flew 31 hours and landed Jan. 11.