SAC 02 being loaded with Hungarian Defence Forces equipment at Pápa Air Base on 17 May. Photo: HAW / Tuomas Saavalainen.
On 17 May, at the request of SAC member nation Hungary, a Boeing C-17 Globemaster III aircraft executed an airlift mission from Pápa Air Base, Hungary, to Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan. The mission was carried out in support of the rotation of HDF personnel serving in Afghanistan. At the moment, Hungary contributes 84 troops to the Resolute Support Mission. The NATO-led RSM provides training, advice and assistance to the Afghan security forces and institutions.
Membership in the SAC program provides Hungary with cost-effective access to 50 annual flight hours with the versatile Boeing C-17 Globemaster III military cargo aircraft. Maximum payload capacity of 77,500 kg (170,900 lb), range of up to 10,390 km, and an advanced countermeasures system make the C-17 an ideal aircraft for rotation flights to and from Afghanistan.
The multinational aircrews of the Heavy Airlift Wing operate the three C-17s based at the HDF Pápa Air Base. The rotation flight from Pápa to Mazar-e-Sharif was executed by an aircrew consisting of personnel from the United States, Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands.
Hungary is not only the Host Nation of the 12-nation HAW, there are nine Hungarians serving at the multinational unit. In addition, the NATO Airlift Management Programme Office and Boeing offer further employment opportunities for Hungarian civilians. As a whole, the SAC program has a significant positive impact on the economy of the Pápa region.
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-17 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-17s 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-17 weapon system.
NAM PO contracts Boeing via a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) agreement to provide technical support for the SAC C-17 aircraft.