A NEW era has begun at the US Air Force/North Carolina Air National Guard Base at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport with the arrival of the first two C-17A Globemaster IIIs for the 145th Airlift Wing/145th Airlift Group/156th Airlift Squadron. The aircraft, the first of eight that will be operated by the unit, arrived at the base on April 7 to be met by a welcoming ceremony with over 2,500 guests. The C-17As comprised 00-0183, previously with the 62nd Airlift Wing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, along with 93-0602, previously operated by the 437th Airlift Wing at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina.
Both aircraft had already had 145th AW markings applied before they were flown in, while in addition, 93-0602 had a specially painted tail to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the 145th AW. The unit originally stood up, as the 146th Fighter Squadron, on March 15, 1948, just six months after the US Air Force established its own separate service on September 18, 1947. It was initially equipped with the P-47 Thunderbolt.
Latterly the 145th AW had flown the C-130H Hercules prior to beginning its transition to the C-17A. A final ‘max flight’ with all eight of the unit’s C-130Hs was flown on August 5, 2017, following which the aircraft progressively left the base. The final C-130H, 93-1561, departed on December 18 to join the 165th AW in Savannah, Georgia.