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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

C-17 - Spirit of Ronald Reagan


Well, you knew that the same day that the Navy launches a ship named after Ronald Reagan, our 40th President, (Cap'n Bob has the story here) the US Air Force wouldn't be too far behind with an aircraft naming ceremony! Just today on AF.mil, Release Number: 020106, I noticed that Mrs. Nancy Reagan is going to unveil the "Spirit of Ronald Reagan". This is the eighth C-17 in the Air Force Reserve Command.

On January 13th at March Air Force Base at High Noon, or 12 O'Clock High, the ceremony begins with the arrival of the C-17 being piloted by Lt. General John A. Bradley, Commander, Air Force Reserve Command.

This aircraft is named “Spirit of Ronald Reagan” in honor of and in tribute to Ronald Reagan, our nation’s 40th president. As part of the arrival ceremony, the aircraft will be piloted by Lt. Gen. John A. Bradley, Commander, Air Force Reserve Command. After she is marshaled to a stop, the dedication ceremony begins.

Some background on the C-17 was provided in the release:
"The C-17 is the newest, most flexible cargo aircraft to enter the airlift force. The Globemaster III is capable of rapid strategic delivery of troops and all types of cargo to main operation bases or directly to forward bases in a deployment area. The aircraft is also capable of performing tactical airlift and airdrop missions when required. The C-17 further improves the ability of the total airlift system to fulfill the worldwide air mobility requirements of the United States from March ARB."
Obviously, reporters are in
vited to be there. Hopefully they can get this news item straight? I mean, they'll actually be there in person.

I also want to point out that the above photos are all from the final ceremony commemorating 60 years of Rhein Main AFB service to USAFE. The 435th MAC was my first duty station. Even though we always lived in the "shadow" of Ramstein AFB, we had tons of pride and a long history: from the Berlin Airlift, to countless troop movement and materiel moves for all branches serving in USAFE, and on sad occasions like the Marines who were slaughtered by terrorists of an earlier age.

Once again, goodbye Rhein Main AFB. But, be glad! The "Spirit of Rhein Main" and her sister aircraft the "Spirit of Berlin" have a new, very famous sister:

The "Spirit of Ronald Reagan"!!!

UPDATE: Ceremony covered here!

Mrs. Reagan Christens the "Spirit of Ronald Reagan"

Stay Tuned to ...


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