LONG BEACH, Calif., Sept. 13 (UPI) -- Boeing announced it completed delivery of its 223rd C-17 Globemaster aircraft to the U.S. Air Force under a production contract issued more than 20 years ago.
The airlifter is being assigned to an air base in South Carolina.
"Thank you for delivering to our nation combat airlift -- that is the definition of the C-17 -- the most versatile, most capable, most ready airlifter ever built," said U.S. Air Force Gen. Paul Selva, commander, Air Mobility Command. "What you have done with this aircraft speaks volumes about your character."
The C-17 was delivered Thursday.
Although production of the plane for the U.S. Air Force has ceased, Boeing will keep manufacturing the transport for overseas customers and will maintain and sustain the aircraft through the C-17 Globemaster Integrated Sustainment Program.
"C-17s are the workhorse for the U.S. Air Force in wartime and in peace," said Chris Chadwick, Boeing Military Aircraft president. "So while this is the last new C-17 to be added to the Air Force fleet, the mission does not stop here. The C-17 delivers hope and saves lives, and with the Air Force in the pilot's seat, it will continue to do so well into the future."
The aircraft, with its short takeoff and landing capability, has been used in a variety of humanitarian missions as well as in military operations.