The third and final C-17 Globemaster III aircraft has arrived at Hungary’s Papa Air Base, marking the activation of the Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW).

The primary function of HAW will be to support the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

The Globemaster will meet the strategic airlift requirements of the 12 strategic airlift capability (SAC) member nations for missions in support of Nato, the EU and the UN.

The wing was officially activated on 27 July 2009, following the delivery of the first C-17 on 18 July. The second C-17 was delivered on 21 September.

SAC participating nations include Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden, Romania and the US.