Boeing delivered the Royal Australian Air Force’s eighth and final C-17 Globemaster III to the fleet’s base at RAAF Amberley, near Brisbane, Nov. 4, the Defense Ministry announced. Australia’s C-17s have been heavily engaged “supporting the international effort to combat Daesh in Iraq and Syria,” as well as providing humanitarian and disaster relief, defense materiel minister Mal Brough said in the release. Australia originally purchased six C-17s, and snapped up its seventh and eighth? aircraft from Boeing’s final, non-contracted production stock earlier this year. India expressed interest in the last unsold C-17 after Qatar claimed one of the two still available after Boeing shuttered the production line at Long Beach, Calif. The RAAF also operates the C-130J Super Hercules in the tactical airlift role, and is acquiring 10 C-27J Spartans for mid-range and short-field operations, according to the RAAF.
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.