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C-17 Mission

The C-17 is capable of rapid strategic delivery of troops and all types of cargo to main operating bases or directly to forward bases in the deployment area. The aircraft can perform tactical airlift and airdrop missions and can also transport litters and ambulatory patients during aero-medical evacuations when required. The Inherent flexibility and performance of the C-17 force improve the ability of the total airlift system to fulfill the worldwide air mobility requirements of the United States. Threats to U.S. interests have changed in recent years, and the size and weight of U.S.-mechanized firepower and equipment have grown in response to improved capabilities of potential adversaries. This trend has significantly increased air mobility requirements, particularly in the area of large or heavy outsize cargo. As a result, more flexible airlift aircraft are needed to meet potential armed contingencies, peacekeeping or humanitarian missions worldwide. The C-17 has proven itself capable of meeting today's demanding airlift missions.

C-17 History

The C-17 made its maiden flight on Sept. 15, 1991, and the first production model was delivered to Charleston Air Force Base, S.C. on June 14, 1993. The first squadron of C-17s was declared operationally ready 18 months later on Jan 17, 1995. The Air Force originally programmed to buy a total of 120 C-17s but current budget plans involve purchasing 205 aircraft. Reliability and maintainability are two outstanding benefits of the C-17 system. Current operational requirements impose demanding reliability and maintainability. These requirements include an aircraft mission completion success probability rate of 92 percent, only 20 aircraft maintenance man-hours per flying hour, and full and partial mission availability rates of 74.7 and 82.5 percent respectively. The aircraft has proven itself in Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq and continues to earn accolades as a versatile workhorse, comfortable in performing airlift around the globe. It is a weapon system at the apex of utility.

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