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Mon, Feb 11, 2008

C-17 Crews Support Missions In Europe, Africa

Globemasters Live Up To Their Name

In a coordinated effort with US Air Forces in Europe and Air Mobility Command, the Air Force Reserve Command is providing dedicated aircrews to fly C-17 Globemaster III strategic airlift missions in Europe and Africa.

The first group of reservists to arrive at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, includes aircrew members, a mission commander, an NCO in charge and a crew chief from AFRC's 514th Air Mobility Wing, McGuire AFB, NJ. They will serve on a rotational basis with reservists from other units replacing them.

"All of the reservists are here on a volunteer basis, not as mobilized reservists," said Lt. Col. James Fryer, the commander of the AFRC's 732nd Airlift Squadron from McGuire AFB. "Our unit was tasked with the first rotation since it was our (air and space expeditionary force) bucket, but we all volunteered to come."

The C-17s will come from various bases on a rotational basis. The first C-17 arrived at Ramstein AB from Charleston AFB, SC, January 29. A second C-17 is due to arrive in mid-to-late spring with two more aircrews.

While deployed, the aircrews and aircraft will be assigned to the 779th Expeditionary Airlift Flight. They will provide global airlift in support of the U.S European Command mission as well as augmenting the global mobility fleet.

Ramstein AB's 723rd Air Mobility Squadron maintains the visiting C-17s.

"The maintenance support from the 723rd (AMS) has been outstanding," said Colonel Fryer. "They are true professionals, and we couldn't do this without them."

Reservists flew the first C-17 rotational airlift mission January 25 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom's NATO training mission in Iraq.

"This is a great partnership and a first step toward better utilization of our assets and support to the global airlift mission," said Colonel Fryer. "We look forward to supporting the strategic airlift requirements not only in Europe and Africa, but worldwide."

FMI: www.af.mil

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