Officials at JB Charleston, S.C., welcomed the arrival of The Spirit of Airborne, the Air Force’s 215th and newest C-17 transport, for beddown. Members of Charleston’s 315th Airlift Wing, an Air Force Reserve unit, flew the C-17 from Boeing’s manufacturing plant in Long Beach. Calif., to Charleston on Jan. 26, bringing the joint base’s Globemaster III fleet to 56 airframes. Along for the cross-country flight was Maj. Gen. Robert Kane, director of global reach programs in the Air Force’s acquisition office. The 315th AW operates and maintains Charleston’s C-17s under an association with the active duty 437th AW. The Air Force has ordered 223 of the 224 C-17s for which Congress has appropriated funds. The Air Force’s 214th C-17 arrived at Charleston in December.
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.