SAC 03 Takes-off from Pápa Air Base. Photo: HAW / Henrik Gebhardt
The Aircraft that had the honor to pass this milestone was the SAC 03, while performing a mission for the SAC member nations, flying cargo from Europe to Africa.
The milestone was celebrated with a cake cutting ceremony at the Strategic Airlift Capability Home station, Pápa Air Base, Hungary on Thursday May 10th.
The Heavy Airlift Wing Vice Commander, Colonel James S. Sparrow (in flightsuit), Cuts the first piece of the "25,000 FH cake", supported by the Heavy Airlift Wing Protocol Officer, Captain Miklos Pelsoci. Photo: HAW / Henrik Gebhardt
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.