Defense Media Network

Boeing C-17 Support Effort for Strategic Airlift Capability Exceeds 1,000 Missions

Achieved nearly 94 percent mission capable rate during five years

Boeing has supported more than 1,000 missions for NATO’s Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC) program, according to a recent Boeing release. The three C-17 Globemaster IIIs of the SAC Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW) have achieved a mission capable rate of nearly 94 percent during their five years of operations.

Boeing has provided maintenance, engineering support, and spares through a performance based logistics program. The three C-17s of the HAW are based at Papa Air Base in Hungary. Boeing has more than 60 people supporting the effort at Papa Air Base, the first location where Boeing provided all C-17 operational maintenance.

“The Boeing team has been an important member of the SAC family from the start and contributes invaluably to the HAW flying safe missions for the nations,” said Royal Netherlands Air Force Col. Frank Rombouts, commander of the airlift wing.

SAC C-17 refuels

A SAC HAW C-17 Globemaster III refuels in the air during a mission. SAC image

Boeing has a large customer base in Central and Eastern Europe and supports more than 6,500 jobs in the region. The company spent nearly $6 million with Tier 1 suppliers in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Romania in 2012, according to Henryka Bochniarz, president of Boeing Central & Eastern Europe.

HAW is a multinational military organization existing outside the formal NATO structure, a consortium of nations that bought its own fleet of three C-17s to provide a needed strategic airlift capability. The C-17s carry no international markings and commanders and military personnel man the HAW on a rotational basis.

The multinational SAC strategic airlift effort involves 10 NATO countries and two NATO Partnership for Peace countries. The NATO nations involved are Bulgaria, Hungary, Estonia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, the United States and Norway. Partnership for Peace nations Finland and Sweden make up the other two SAC members.