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Top Honour For RAAF Air Force Globemaster Team


Top Honour For RAAF Air Force Globemaster Team

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has received a top national aviation award for its rapid and successful introduction of the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III into service.

The Australian regional division of the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators (GAPAN) has awarded its prestigious GAPAN Grand Master's Australian Medal to the RAAF's C-17 Transition Team and Amberley-based 36 Squadron.

The Master of GAPAN, Group Captain Roger Gault (retired), presented the medal to C-17 Transition Team leader Group Captain Gary Martin, at a dinner in Brisbane on 25 October.

The award was approved by HRH The Prince Andrew, Duke of York KG KCVO ADC, the Grand Master of GAPAN.

GPCAPT Gault commended the RAAF for having brought the aircraft into service rapidly and efficiently, beginning with the formation of a RAAF C-17 Transition Team in January 2006.

"The RAAF C-17 Globemaster III Transition Team achieved what many considered impossible - the successful research, compilation, and presentation in less than two months of documentation and data to support what was, at the time, the largest financial acquisition in RAAF history," GPCAPT Gault said.

With the announcement of four C-17s being purchased for the RAAF in March 2006, 36SQN sent air and ground crews to train with the United States Air Force to develop Australia's C-17 personnel capability.

In December 2006, the first aircraft arrived at RAAF Base Amberley. In September 2007, the RAAF declared the Globemaster to have reached initial operational capability, clearing it for use with the wider Australian Defence Force.

"It is an honour to collect the Grand Master Medal on behalf of 36 Squadron and the Transition Team", Group Captain Gary Martin said.

"The Globemaster sets an unprecedented benchmark in RAAF airlift, capable of carrying outsized cargo such as a Chinook helicopter or three Black Hawk helicopters or up to 70 tonnes of cargo between continents."

"The C-17 is fulfilling its duties as a global airlifter in RAAF service. It has already supported a number of short-notice, high-priority tasks for the Australian Defence Force."

ENDS

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