Team McChord celebrated nearly 14 years of flying and maintaining the C-17 Globemaster III during a ceremony on the flight line here March 27, just moments after receiving its final C-17 delivery.
McChord received its first C-17 aircraft July 30, 1999. That aircraft, named The Spirit of McChord, was also on hand for the most recent ceremony. Parked nose-to-nose on the ramp, the two aircraft provided the backdrop for the afternoons event, which was attended by Airman and community leaders.
Since that first delivery in 1999, McChord C-17s have played a critical role supporting the nations global airlift capability. C-17s based at McChord Field have flown missions in a variety of operations, to include humanitarian relief and contingency operations.
Whether its bringing equipment and supplies to hurricane or earthquake victims, or dropping medical supplies at the South Pole or ammunition to Soldiers in Afghanistan, for more than a decade, McChord Airmen have saved lives all over the world, said Col. Wyn Elder, 62nd Airlift Wing commander.
Lieutenant General Darren McDew, 18th Air Force commander, and the planes delivery official, echoed Elders sentiments on the impact of the C-17 at McChord.
While the C-17 has supported our commanders across the globe for nearly two decades, you have really made it shine here at McChord, McDew said. Because of that, it is a privilege to bring this brand new aircraft to you.
In a gesture signifying the transfer of ownership of the C-17 to McChord, McDew handed over the aircrafts keys to Tech. Sgt. Justin Reeves, 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron flying crew chief.
As I turn over this aircraft, I charge you to do great things with it, McDew told the crowd. And I have no doubt you will.