Despite Air Force C-17 Cargo Plane Crash Airshow Will Go On


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Despite Air Force C-17 Cargo Plane Crash Airshow Will Go On

By Daniel Baxter

July 31, 2010 - A U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III airlifter crashed on Wednesday about 6:15 PM at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Anchorage Alaska. Four crewmembers are reported to have been killed in the crash.

The Boeing C-17 cargo plane was practicing for the upcoming Elmendorf's Richardson air show, the "Arctic Thunder" which is planned for this weekend. The C-17 cargo plane is listed on Elmendorf's 3rd Wing.

Three of the crew were members of the Alaska Air National Guard and the other was active-duty Air Force from Elmendorf, the Air Force. The C-17 crashed in a huge ball of fire in a wooded area about two miles from the airport. The fire ball could be seen for miles.


"Our deepest sympathy and sincerest condolences go out to the family and friends of those Airmen killed in this crash. Yesterday, we lost four members of our Arctic Warrior family and it's a loss felt across our entire joint installation," said Col. John McMullen, 3rd Wing commander. "Right now our immediate focus is on providing all possible support to the loved ones of our fallen aviators. We are also engaged in a deliberate investigative process."

Despite the tragic loss of four Airmen Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson's air show and open house will proceed this weekend. "We do this to both honor the loss of our four Airmen and also to pay respect to all service members who make the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms," said Col. John McMullen, 3rd Wing commander. "We hope our friends and neighbors throughout Alaska will come out and join us."

Arctic Thunder is free and open to the public. The gates open at 9 a.m. on both July 31 and Aug. 1 and the entertainment continues until 5 p.m. each day. Typically, the largest two-day event in Alaska, attendance for the show is expected to exceed 170,000.

The C-17 Globemaster III is the newest, most flexible cargo aircraft to enter the airlift force. The C-17 is capable of rapid strategic delivery of troops and all types of cargo to main operating bases or directly to forward bases in the deployment area.


The aircraft can perform tactical airlift and airdrop missions and can also transport litters and ambulatory patients during aeromedical evacuations when required. The inherent flexibility and performance of the C-17 force improve the ability of the total airlift system to fulfill the worldwide air mobility requirements of the United States.

Elmendorf Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base adjacent to Anchorage, the largest city in Alaska. It was named in honor of test pilot Captain Hugh M. Elmendorf. It is the home of the Headquarters, Alaskan Command (ALCOM), Alaskan NORAD Region (ANR), Eleventh Air Force (11 AF), the 3rd Wing, and some Tenant Units. Elmendorf's mission is to support and defend U.S. interests in the Asia Pacific region and around the world by providing units who are ready for worldwide air power projection and a base that is capable of meeting PACOM's theater staging and throughput requirements.

The Boeing stated "our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the four crewmembers who were lost aboard the Pacific Air Forces C-17 that crashed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. Boeing stands ready to provide technical assistance to the U.S. Air Force with the investigation into this tragedy."


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