04/14/2015: Earlier, we interviewed the current Air Mobility Commander for the RAAF and his predecessor.
Both emphasized the significant impact of the C-17 and the KC-30A on the reach and range of the RAAF.
Now the Australian government has announced the formal decision to add two more C-17s from the final build of that aircraft by Boeing.
In an article published on April 9, 2015 by Karen Meeks of the Long Beach Press Telegram, the news was discussed this way:
Two Long Beach-assembled military cargo planes will soon make Australia their new home.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced Thursday that his government plans to buy two more Boeing Co. Globemaster III C-17s, augmenting its Royal Australian Air Force fleet of C-17s by eight.
The government will invest $1 billion on the military airlifters, $300 million of which will go toward upgrading the RAAF Base Amberley, where the country’s C-17 fleet is based, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
“The two additional C-17s will provide vital heavy airlift support to a range of regional and global coalition operations and greatly increase Australia’s capacity to provide rapid and effective disaster rescue and relief and humanitarian aid,” Abbott said in a statement.
According to the Herald, the RAAF has used C-17s in Australian Defence Force operations for the last 15 years and have been instrumental in ferrying supplies to Vanuatu in the aftermath of Cyclone Pam and retrieving MH-17 crash victims in Ukraine. A
bbott said the air force should receive the two new planes quickly; the first C-17 should come within six months of the government order and the second plane within 10 months of the first, according to the Herald.
The video is credited to the Australian Ministry of Defence.