The US Air Force has received its first taste of the new C-17 Globemaster III, after one of the heavy transport aircraft successfully dropped supplies to marines on the island of Hawaii during this year’s Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise.

Crewmembers from the 535th Airlift Squadron used the improved container delivery system to drop over 25,000lb of supplies to marines from Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

The largest biennial maritime exercise in the world, RIMPAC began on 23 June 2010 and will continue to 1 August in the Hawaiian operating area.

The excerise will be attended by 14 nations, including Australia, France, Japan, Indonesia, the Netherlands, Peru, South Korea, Singapore, and the US.

Brazil, India and New Zealand will send observers to the exercise.

RIMPAC will test interoperability of participating nations and strengthen their ability to communicate and operate in simulated air, land and maritime scenarios.