The Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW) has completed 1,000 flight hours with its three C-17 Globemaster cargo aircraft, within a year of their delivery.

The HAW, made up of 12 nations, achieved this milestone on 12 February 2010, while returning from a mission to Kabul, Afghanistan.

The operational arm of the multinational Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC), HAW operates three C-17 cargo aircraft from its Papa Air Base, Hungary.

HAW’s operational pace has increased rapidly since the acquisition of the third C-17 in October 2009.

Papa Air Base received the first SAC C-17 in July 2009 and the second in September.

Flying 65 missions, HAW has delivered over 4,300,000lb of cargo and nearly 1,700 passengers, since July 2009.

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Operational missions include flights in support of Kosovo forces, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan and coalition forces in Iraq.

Launched in 2007, the SAC consortium acquired the three C-17 to meet strategic airlift requirements for national missions, including missions in support of Nato, the EU and the UN.

The SAC nations include ten Nato nations – Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, Romania and the US – and two Partnership for Peace nations Finland and Sweden.