Boeing will begin training NATO’s Strategic Airlift Capability program aircrews at its international C-17 training center in the United Kingdom under a new $8 million contract, according to a company release. The SAC is made up of 10 NATO countries and two NATO partner countries, and the multinational crews operate three C-17s out of Papa Air Base in Hungary. Previously, the SAC program sent crews to the United States for C-17 training; the Air Force inspected Boeing’s training simulators before the new contract was finalized. “Having regional training is a big cost and time savings for the SAC program,” Larry Sisco, Boeing’s C-17 training program manager, said in a written statement. “The US Air Force gave us their stamp of approval. They were thrilled with our simulator capability and how concurrent the simulators are with the C-17 aircraft.”
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.