Australia receives final C-17

  • Published
  • By Jenny Gordon
  • Robins Public Affairs
Team Robins' reach is worldwide. And, the Royal Australian Air Force welcoming its eighth and final C-17 Globemaster III Nov. 4 at its base in Amberley is further proof of that.

According to the RAAF, the acquisition of two additional aircraft this year - along with associated equipment and facilities - is a $1 billion investment in the country's ability to provide vital heavy airlift across global missions. 

The C-17's lift and range has become an integral part of the Australian Defence Force's airlift capability, said Mal Brough, Minister for Defence Materiel and Science. 

"It allows Australia to rapidly deploy troops, combat equipment, tanks, helicopters and humanitarian resources worldwide," he said. "The C-17 has played a central role in the ADF's activities, including supporting the international effort to combat (ISIL) in Iraq and Syria, recovering the victims of the MH-17 tragedy in the Ukraine, and delivering disaster relief to victims of the Vanuatu cyclone and Queensland floods." 

Robins Air Force Base is home to the C-17 System Program Office, which is responsible for the sustainment, modernization, modification, maintenance and overall service of the C-17 fleet. 

Its offices house not only Boeing employees, but also representatives from partner nations such as the United Kingdom, Canada, Qatar, and Australia, which received its first C-17 in 2006.

Wing Commander David Zemel with the C-17 Logistics Management Unit said, "The C-17 has allowed rapid responses to national and global activities, and has extended Australia's airlift capability well beyond what was previously possible. It's the backbone of Australian airlift capability and provides unprecedented global reach." 

Since Boeing's announcement that it would complete production and close its C-17 assembly facility in Long Beach, Calif., in 2013, the focus will now be on fleet sustainment. That includes modernization and modification.    

The U.S. Air Force received its final C-17 in September 2013, marking 223 aircraft in the fleet. Home to the C-17 SPO, Robins' 562nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron is also responsible for the heavy maintenance and overhaul of the cargo aircraft.