|C-37A Joins Wing Fleet |
C-37A Joins Wing Fleet
By Master Sgt. Greg Bade, 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs.
MacDill Air Force Base, Florida -- (AFPN) August 1, 2001 -- A new era in the base's long aviation history here was ushered in July 25 with the arrival of a new C-37A special airlift support aircraft.
The C-37A, a military version of the Gulfstream V, was chosen as a replacement for the obsolete VC-137 Stratoliner. Besides the three assigned to MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., two C-37As are stationed at Andrews AFB, Md., one at Chievres, Belgium, and one planned for Hickam AFB, Hawaii. The aircraft features a modern flight management system with worldwide satellite-based Global Positioning System and communications equipment to provide secure voice and data capability.
The twin-engine jet was flown from the manufacturer's headquarters in Savannah, Ga., by Gen. Tony Robertson, United States Transportation Command commander in chief and Air Mobility Command commander. Robertson handed over the aircraft to the 6th Air Mobility Wing during an arrival ceremony here.
The aircraft is the first of three C-37As that will be stationed here to support stateside commanders in chief and will eventually replace the 310th Airlift Squadron's aging VC-137 Stratoliner and CT-43 aircraft. The next C-37 is scheduled to arrive in August and the third in March.
The transition to the newer aircraft represents a significant boost for the wing's CINC-support mission, Robertson said.
"We deliver this magnificent machine as a down payment of our continuing commitment to improving the mission capability for the men and women of this wing who will fly and maintain it," he said. "The burden of keeping those older jets flying has been lightened considerably today."
With three of the nation's nine unified combatant commands having headquarters in Florida,(two here) airlift support for the CINC mission will continue to be a vital mission, said Brig. Gen. Chip Diehl, 6th Air Mobility Wing commander.
"What we do in the CINC support mission is important not only for this wing, but it's a job that is critical to the nation's interests around the world," Diehl said.