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10/25/2019 9:00 AM
Strategic Airlift Capability Discuss the Future in bi-annual Strategic Planning Working Group
17 OCT 2019 – LUXEMBOURG - - Representatives of Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC) Nations came together to discuss the distant future of the SAC together with the operational military arm, Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW) and NSPA’s NATO Airlift Management Programme (NAMP) leadership.

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SAC Stakeholder discuss the future potential of the program. Photo: Livia Majercsik / NAM PO

The Strategic Planning Working Group looks ahead 10-15 years discussing challenges and solutions of the future. Life expectancy of the SAC has always been dependent on its most important assets, the three C-17 Globemaster III aircraft it flies its missions with. The C-17s were designed and built to fly for 30 years, consequently, having celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, the SAC still has a minimum of 20 years of operations ahead.

Chairperson of the Working Group Colonel Sylvia Babusch of The Netherlands said that as years pass by "we see that the aircraft will have a longer life-span than expected. This brings us to look even closer at how the HAW flies missions in the future and how we can add even more value to these fantastic aircraft". Optimizing aircraft usage is a key interest of SAC Nations and doing that is viable when operational demand and supply meet, she added. "If you need a car for grocery shopping for the next decade, you will not look at a Ferrari. You will look for a solution that is sustainable and gets you what you want and where you need to be in the most effective and cost-efficient way. That is an example of what we are doing when we consider and plan for the next decades of the SAC".

Vice Commander of the HAW Colonel Peder Söderström applauded the opportunity to be a part of this internal think-tank. "I think it is important to look at the challenges of the future now. HAW members are here today to provide the Subject Matter Expertise of the present, so that we can strategize about the future" he added. One of the HAW's priorities is to stay relevant. "With our missions and current exercise programme, I am confident we can stay competent and up-to-date in our core capabilities," the Vice Commander said.

The Working Group submits a report with recommendations to the governing bodies of the SAC, the SAC Steering Board and the NAM Programme Board after every Strategic Planning Working Group session.


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 Defense 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 defense, 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 with the U.S. Government, via Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Agreements with the USAF, for SAC C-17 Technical and integrated Product Support, Flight Crew Training and operational data services. The USAF in turn sub-contracts many of these services to Industry; notably Boeing and Pratt & Whitney.