The New York Air National Guard’s 105th Airlift Wing in Newburgh celebrated its transition to the C-17 airlifter during a ceremony at Stewart ANG Base. “The reason you have the C-17, 105th, is because you earned it. Congratulations,” said Gen. Duncan McNabb, head of US Transportation Command, during the Aug. 6 ceremony, reported the Poughkeepsie Journal. The wing has flown the C-5 Galaxy since 1985; it was the first Air Guard unit to operate the C-5. Boeing delivered the first of the wing’s eight C-17s on July 18; the second arrived 11 days later. “The men and women of the 105th now have a new capability to provide global reach even to the most austere locations around the world,” said Bob Ciesla, Boeing C-17 program manager, in a company release. The wing is slated to receive the remaining six C-17s by the end of September. (See also Mid-Hudson News report and New York National Guard advisory.)
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.