By Staff Sgt. Sherree Grebenstein
Public Affairs Specialist,
167th Airlift Wing
Weeks ahead of schedule, the West Virginia Air National Guard’s 167th Airlift Wing launched its first C-17 Globemaster III local training flight at its base in Martinsburg, on Dec. 18.
It was a testament to the dedication and professionalism the wing’s Airmen continue to show as they embrace the unit’s new mission with the C-17.
“The fact that this sortie was able to happen ahead of schedule and without a hitch is a tribute to the hard work of all those who have been working this conversion over the last year,” said Capt. Justin S. McCabe, who piloted the C-17 along with Lt. Col. Lisa Windle and Capt. Christopher K. Nary.
Shortly after 11 a.m. the aircraft lifted off the runway westbound on the wing’s historic flight. Chief Master Sgt. Leslie Y. Morris and Master Sgt. Charles R.D. Moore, mission loadmasters assigned to the flight, rounded out the five-member crew.
The initial flight training mission lasted nearly two hours with the C-17 flying as far as Pennsylvania and then heading back to Martinsburg airspace where it made a series of routine touch and goes on the base’s runway.
“A lot of different moving parts go into getting just one training mission off of the ground and this trial run gave us a good indication on where we stood,” McCabe said. “There are a lot of different agencies working behind the scenes.”
A total of eight C-17 aircraft are expected to be assigned to the 167th with the last one expected to be delivered in July, 2015.