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International media focus on C-17 training

Australian TV Channel 9 reporter and cameraman record Australian aircrew students at the controls of a C-17 at Altus AFB, Okla.

Australian TV Channel 9 reporter and cameraman record Australian aircrew students at the controls of a C-17 at Altus AFB, Okla.

ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. (AETCNS) -- About 3,000 aircrew are trained annually at the Altus Air Force Base schoolhouse along with 15 to 35 international students from Singapore, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Australian TV Channel 9 focused their camera on 12 Royal Australian Air Force C-130 Hercules and CC08 Caribou pilots and loadmasters transitioning to the C-17 Globemaster III June 12.

"Australia will deliver its first C-17 from the factory in December and has committed to four C-17 purchases," said RAAF Wing Commander Linda Corbould. "Ours is the first group of Australian aircrew here for C-17 training. Another group will arrive in March."

Australia is the first country other than the United States to purchase the C-17. Britain leases four C-17s from Boeing.

"Australia is getting a model with extended range and the latest refinements straight off the assembly line," said Col. Carlton D. Everhart II, 97th Air Mobility Wing commander. "When compared to other aircraft, you have longer range, in-flight refueling, better communications, command and control, and the C-17 will carry the weight of a M1A1 Abrams tank. It will be a great addition to the Australian air force's cargo mission."

Australia will continue to use C-130s, Wing Commander Corbould said. The C-17 will add a heavy airlift capability for military taskings and humanitarian efforts in the Pacific and Southeast Asia.

After graduation in August, the Australian crews will spend several months training with U.S. Air Force C-17 wings before accepting of the first RAAF C-17. The C-17s will be based at RAAF Base Amberly, 600 miles north of Sydney, Australia.