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8/10/2016 2:40 PM
Strategic Airlift Capability C-17A Fleet Reaches 20,000 Flight Hours
10 AUG 2016 – PÁPA - - The three Boeing C-17A Globemaster III long-range cargo jets of the 12-nation Strategic Airlift Capability have achieved a significant milestone. The total flying time of the aircraft, operated by the multinational Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW), exceeded 20,000 flight hours on 10 August 2016 during an airlift mission requested by SAC member nation Romania.

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A SAC C-17A taking off at Pápa Air Base, Hungary. Photo: HAW / Tuomas Saavalainen.


Since the activation of the HAW on 27 July 2009, SAC C-17As have flown over 5,600 sorties on more than 1,600 missions, transporting over 90,500 passengers and approximately 59,400 tons (131 million lbs.) of cargo. All the missions have been executed in support of the strategic airlift requirements of the 12 SAC member nations, including the nations' NATO, EU and UN commitments, national defence, and humanitarian relief efforts.

In 2016, SAC C-17As have supported large multinational military exercises in Europe, including Cold Response, Saber Junction and Saber Strike. In addition, the SAC has continued to support its member nations' participation in operations such as the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission (RSM) in Afghanistan, the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

Operating out of Pápa Air Base, Hungary, the multinational flight crews of the HAW remain ready to execute airlift missions safely and effectively to locations anywhere in the world, even in the most austere conditions.


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HAW Loadmasters and Dutch soldiers unloading cargo in Gao, Mali. Photo: Royal Netherlands Army.



About the Strategic Airlift Capability

Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC), established in 2008, is a multinational program that provides its 12 member nations with assured access to military airlift capability by owning and operating three Boeing C-17A Globemaster III long-range cargo aircraft.

SAC is based at the Hungarian Defence Forces (HDF) Pápa Air Base, Hungary.

The SAC Nations are the NATO members Hungary (program host nation), Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and the United States and NATO Partnership for Peace nations Finland and Sweden. Each participating nation owns a share of the available flight hours of the SAC C-17As to serve the needs of their national defence, NATO, EU or UN commitments and humanitarian relief efforts.

SAC consists of the 12-nation Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW) and the NATO Airlift Management Programme Office (NAM PO). The HAW is the operational unit and the NAM PO, an integral part of the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA), is the acquisition and sustainment authority of the SAC C-17A weapon system.

NAM PO contracts Boeing via a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) agreement to provide technical support for the SAC C-17A aircraft.