File photo by Brian Hartigan
The seventh C-17A Globemaster III aircraft arrived in Australia at RAAF Base Amberley today, marking the fastest C-17A delivery in our fleet.
Minister for Defence Kevin Andrews said the rapid acquisition of the aircraft is a testament to the close relationship that exists between Australia and the United States.
“The active involvement of a number of United States and Australian agencies has been pivotal in meeting the successful delivery of this aircraft and I applaud everyone involved in the acquisition program,” Minister Andrews said.
“This acquisition signifies considerable work opportunities for the local industry, with $300 million being spent to upgrade facilities.
“With its proven ability to transport heavy equipment, vehicles and helicopters in a short timeframe, the C-17A’s capabilities are vital to Australia’s national security and safety.”
Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Leo Davies said the acquisition of two additional C-17A aircraft will increase the Australian Defence Force’s capacity to provide vital community and humanitarian assistance.
“The C-17A fleet has been integral to recent operations including the rapid deployment of Australian forces in support of the Iraq government, assistance in the Queensland floods, and the recovery of MH17 victims from eastern Ukraine,” Air Marshal Davies said.
“This latest acquisition will bolster our existing fleet of strategic lift aircraft, providing vital heavy airlift support to a range of operations, and increase our capacity to provide swift disaster relief and humanitarian assistance at home and abroad.
“Under Plan Jericho, the Air Force is dedicated to developing a networked, future joint force that can respond across the spectrum – from combat to humanitarian support.
“An additional two C-17A aircraft will help us achieve that,” Air Marshal Davies said.
The Australian government announced the acquisition of two additional C-17A aircraft in April 2015 representing a $1 billion investment in Australia’s security and Defence Force.
The eighth C-17A is planned to arrive in Australia later this year.