A Charleston Air Force Base C-17 Globemaster III soars over the Arthur Ravenel Bridge in Charleston, South Carolina.

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Team Charleston received the first of 10 C-17s during a ceremony on the flightline at Charleston AFB (SC) Nov. 18.

The P-180 is the first new aircraft Charleston AFB has received since 2003 and brings the total number of C-17s assigned to 51.

“Today we start a new page in the C-17’s history book here at Charleston AFB,” said Col. John “Red” Millander, 437th Airlift Wing commander. “The arrival of aircraft 77180 marks the first of a series of 10 new C-17s. The name and the mission has not changed; the capability has. This new … aircraft boasts technologies and abilities that did not exist when I witnessed the first C-17 arrival to Charleston in 1993.”

This new C-17 is different from the rest on the Charleston AFB flightline because it has new technology and capabilities. There are new secure satellite communication systems, avionics, combat lighting and night vision goggles that allow flying, loading and unloading in the dark.

“The important thing about the new technology is that it will keep our crews safer,” said Colonel Millander.

Brig. Gen. Bradley Pray, deputy director of Air Mobility Command’s Air, Space and Information Operations, delivered the P-180 on time after an approximate five-hour flight from its production sight in Long Beach, Calif. However, he did it with the help of Charleston AFB’s own flying crew chiefs and pilots and loadmasters from the 16th Airlift Squadron.

“I felt honored to be part of the crew that brought home the new C-17,” said Airman 1st Class Kylor Eutsler, 16 AS loadmaster. “I’ve only been part of the squadron since April so it’s great that I had an opportunity to do something like this. I definitely hope to fly missions on it in the future.”

Charleston AFB received their first C-17 June 14, 1993. Since then, Team Charleston has been part of C-17 missions supporting humanitarian relief efforts such as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, delivering freedom for American hostages in Colombia and operations such as Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. Last year, Charleston C-17 crews performed nearly 16,000 sorties on more than 5,000 missions. They also delivered 206 million pound of cargo and 142,000 people in support of missions around the world.

“People put the life in lift and it takes a team effort to produce winning results,” said Colonel Millander. “Team Charleston is stronger than ever … everyone continues and everyone is vital. No one should measure their worth by how close they work to a C-17 flight deck. We need every Team Charleston member working together to accomplish the mission.”

Melissa White

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