Friday, November 18, 2005

Travis Prepares to Accept C-17s

Travis Prepares to Accept C-17s
By Ian Thompson

FAIRFIELD - There is nothing to stop the first C-17 Globemaster IIIs from arriving at Travis Air Force Base on time next year, an Air Mobility Command inspection team announced.

The team, called a Site Activation Task Force, visited the base in the first four days of November to check the progress of getting ready to bed down the new air transport, according to an AMC News Service release.

"We assessed the progress of the program and we did not find any show stoppers that will prevent or delay the delivery of C-17s to Travis," said Maj. Keith Thibodeaux of AMC headquarters.

Travis is slated to get 13 new C-17s - with the first of the aircraft planned to arrive by July and the first of the active-duty aircrew and maintainers slated to start arriving in January. The C-17s, the newest of the Air Force fleet, are a key in solidifying Travis' future.

Members of the Air Force Reserve's 349th Air Mobility Wing also have aircrew and maintainers training and preparing for the aircraft's' arrival.

Construction of buildings needed by the C-17s will be completed by January, as well as a flight simulator facility, an aircraft parts store, a squadron operations building and an aircraft maintenance building, the news release said.

The task force's duty was to check on the preparations and identify any issues that needed to be addressed before the aircraft arrive and the squadrons associated with the C-17s are activated.

A lot of work for both the active duty and Reserve air mobility wings still remains to get ready for the C-17s, Travis officials said in the news release.

"That jet is coming and when it gets here, the nation is going to want us to put it in the fight the next day and we need to be ready," said Col. Keith Frede, 60th Maintenance Group commander.

Reach Ian Thompson cat 427-6976 or at

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