The last C-17 Globemaster III cargo plane built for the U.S. Air Force was delivered to Joint Base Charleston’s fleet Thursday evening. The massive, four-engine plane, which made its first flight in 1991, is used to airlift tanks, supplies and troops as well as perform medical evacuations.
The plane that arrived in Charleston Thursday was the 223rd plane sold by Boeing to the Air Force. It flew from Boeing’s assembly plant in Long Beach, California— the same route taken by the first C-17 delivered in 1993.
“This airplane, number 223, is the end of the fleet. The fleet is complete,” Gen. Paul Selva, who leads the Air Mobility Command at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, told WCIV shortly after a Thursday ceremony. “But… the mission continues.”
The delivery gives Joint Base Charleston a total of 54 C-17 planes. The Air Force capped the number of planes it plans to purchase earlier this year. Boeing does have several contracts to continue building the planes for several European countries.
Pilots say the C-17 is an amazing craft. “The C-17 has always been great because, no matter where you are in the world, you can wake and be back at home that night,” Lt Col. Matthew Leard told WCIV.