The 437th Airlift Wing at Charleston AFB, S.C., on Tuesday took delivery of the first of 10 new C-17 transports that it will receive to bolster its existing C-17 fleet. This airframe is the first new C-17 to arrive at Charleston since 2003 and brings the base’s C-17 force to 51. “Today we start a new page in the C-17’s history book here at Charleston,” said Col. John Millander, commander of the wing. The new aircraft boast technology not resident on the rest of Charleston’s C-17s, which began arriving in 1993. It has new secure satellite communication systems and avionics and combat lighting that enable use of night vision goggles for flying, loading, and unloading in the dark. “The important thing about the new technology is that it will keep our crews safer,” said Millander. Charleston remains an extremely busy C-17 hub. Last year, for example, C-17 crews from the base performed nearly 16,000 sorties, delivering 206 million pounds of cargo and 142,000 passengers to support military and relief missions worldwide. (For more, read yesterday’s The Post and Courier report) (Charleston report by A1C Melissa White)
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.