PÁPA AIR BASE, Hungary – On Sunday, 1 April 2012, the Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW) and the Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC) program reached a new milestone. The C-17 piloted by Heavy Airlift Squadron Commander, Lt Col Christian Langfeldt (NOR), and his crew passed 7,000 flight hours in Turkish Airspace at 0138 Zulu time. This Afghanistan resupply mission reflected the significant progress made by the program as it included crewmembers from exactly half of the SAC Nations – Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Sweden, and the United States.
The Heavy Airlift Wing Commander, Colonel Keith Boone (USAF), reflected on the advances made in such a short time, “We are growing as a program and as a unit. I am extremely proud of the dedication of the HAW team, the contributions of all the nations, and the support we get from our partners – Hungarian Defence Forces at Pápa Air Base, the NATO Airlift Management Agency, Boeing Corporation, our fellow citizens in the town of Pápa and of course our families. We didn’t reach this milestone alone; it takes teamwork and the support of the nations’ leaders to make this an enduring success. It truly is an outstanding example of the benefits of strategic partnerships…of pooling and sharing, and smart defence.” “I am especially proud of the HAW members ,” said Colonel Boone, “our safety record is exemplary, the aircrews are world-class professionals, and the overall group is working with unity: 12 Nations – 1 Team – 1 Mission -- 1 Vision.”
The Strategic Airlift Capability is a cooperative effort of 12 nations: Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden and the United States. It is stationed at Pápa Air Base, Hungary.
Since the delivery of the first aircraft in July 2009, the HAW has flown over 7,000 flight hours, delivered more than 21 tons of cargo and moved over 23,000 passengers for the SAC nations over 6 continents, including missions to Haiti, Afghanistan, Pakistan, South Africa and Europe. More information is available at www.heavyairliftwing.org.
(Press Office of the Ministry of Defence)