The Air Force took delivery of its 190th production C-17 on Wednesday and then flew it to its new home at Charleston AFB, S.C., where it joined Air Force Reserve Command’s 315th Airlift Wing. Lt. Gen. Charles Stenner, AFRC boss, accepted the aircraft from Boeing at the company’s assembly plant in Long Beach, Calif., and then accompanied an all-Reserve crew from AFRC’s 317th Airlift Squadron on the cross-country flight to the South Carolina base. “It flies great,” said Stenner after arrival at Charleston. This C-17 is the 58th—active and Reserve—to be stationed at Charleston. Congress has authorized the Air Force to procure 213 C-17s to date; the service has already ordered 205 of them. USAF may receive funding for up to 10 more, depending on the outcome of the House-Senate conference on the final version of the Fiscal 2010 defense spending bill. (315th AW report by Capt. Bryan Lewis)
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.