A $200 million flying machine joined the fleet of C-17 Globemasters at Joint Base Lewis-McChord this week, and it could be one of the last new additions to the 62nd Airlift Wing.
The plane, called “The Spirit of the Medal of Honor,” is among about 55 C-17s at Lewis-McChord flying with the 62nd Airlift Wing and the 446th Reserve Airlift Wing. It’s the Air Force’s 211th C-17.
The Air Force will have 223 C-17s when it completes its current contracts with Boeing, according to Pentagon budget requests.
Airmen fly the C-17s worldwide out of Lewis-McChord, delivering supplies to service members deployed in combat, providing humanitarian aid natural disasters and caring for wounded soldiers as they leave the battlefield on their way to military hospitals.
California lawmakers have been trying to lock the Pentagon into buying another C-17 to keep the plane’s production line in Long Beach running a little longer. White House and Defense officials have resisted that pitch, arguing the Air Force has more than enough C-17s to meet its demand.
Boeing has contracts to deliver more C-17s to India, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. They’re also in use by Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and NATO.