A SAC Boeing C-17 Globemaster III long range cargo jet taking off from its home field at HDF Pápa Air Base, Hungary. Photo: HAW / Ville Tuokko
The airlift missions, requested by the United States, a member nation of the multinational Strategic Airlift Capability program, have consisted of transport of United States Army cargo from Aviano Air Base, Italy to several locations in Latvia and SAC member nations Poland, Lithuania and Estonia for joint unscheduled exercises with the nations’ armed forces. The requests were converted to a series of executable airlift missions on a notice of a few days.
According to Colonel Frank Rombouts, the Commander of the Heavy Airlift Wing, the support provided to the exercise activities with the C-17s of the multinational airlift program on a short notice was a clear demonstration of its ability to serve the airlift needs of its member nations in all situations.
“SAC program receives its mission requests from its 10 NATO and 2 NATO Partnership for Peace member nations who use the capability of the C-17s they own and operate together to support national defense and UN, EU and NATO commitments. This time the missions were requested by a SAC nation willing to show support to other program member nations and allies in the NATO context and we were there to answer the call. “
About the Strategic Airlift Capability Heavy Airlift Wing
The Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW) based in Pápa Air Base, Hungary is the operational arm of the multinational Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC). The HAW operates three C-17 Globemaster III long-range military cargo jets providing strategic airlift capability to meet the mission requirements of the 12 SAC partner nations .The HAW became operational in 2009 and its aircraft fleet has achieved over 13.000 flying hours. The unit reached Full Operational Capability (FOC) in 2012.
The SAC Nations consist of the NATO members Hungary, Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and the United States and NATO Partnership for Peace nations Finland and Sweden.
In its operations, SAC receives support from the NATO Airlift Management Program (NAMP) and the Boeing Company.