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NATO takes last C-17, commences ops

written by australianaviation.com.au | October 8, 2009

C-17The NATO Airlift Management Organisation (NAMO) based at Hungary’s Papa Air Base has taken delivery of its third and final C-17 from Boeing, just a couple of weeks after it conducted its first mission into Afghanistan.

The Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW) was stood up at Papa Air Base on July 27 with a mix of experienced USAF crews and training crews from member countries which include Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, and Sweden.

“The delivery of SAC’s third C-17 fulfills a vision that came to life three years ago,” the HAW’s wing commander, USAF Col John Zazworsky, told Boeing employees at the delivery ceremony. “A vision that 12 nations could form a unique partnership to jointly own and operate the world’s most advanced airlifter to save lives and to meet their critical airlift requirements. We’ve done it, and with unparalleled cooperation.”

The third NAMO C-17 brings to 19 the number of C-17s sold to foreign nations including the four aircraft operated by the RAAF. The USAF currently has 213 C-17s in service and on order.

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