On Thursday (27 June 2019), NATO marked 10 years since the Alliance’s fleet of Globemaster transport aircraft made its maiden flight, a major step in Allies’ ability to move personnel and equipment across the world.
Under NATO’s Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC), 10 Allies (Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, and the United States) and two partners (Finland and Sweden) pooled resources to buy and share a fleet of three Globemaster heavy transport aircraft.
Demand for airlift has been consistently high as Allied forces engage in operations around the world. Over the past decade the SAC planes have flown more than 2,500 missions, moving over 79,000 tons of cargo and around 130,000 passengers. Flights have supported NATO operations in Afghanistan, Kosovo and Libya, as well as humanitarian relief efforts in Haiti and Pakistan.
The Globemaster is a large transport aircraft capable of carrying 77,000 kilograms of cargo over 4,450 kilometres. The multinational Globemaster airwing operates out of Pápa airbase in Hungary, about 130 kilometres west of Budapest.