PICTURE: Hungary-based C-17 makes first outing for NATO

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The first Boeing C-17 strategic transport to be delivered to a consortium of NATO and Partnership for Peace nations has made its first visit to Eindhoven air base in the Netherlands.

Assigned to the NATO Heavy Airlift Wing at Papa air base, Hungary, the aircraft visited Eindhoven - the location of the alliance's European movement co-ordination centre - on 15 September. It was scheduled to fly to Afghanistan's Kandahar airfield the following day to deliver equipment in support of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.

 
© Joris van Boven
The C-17 is operated by a consortium of 12 nations

Boeing delivered the first of the Strategic Airlift Capability framework's eventual three C-17s in mid-July. The fleet will include one aircraft to be allocated to Alliance duties from the US Air Force's order for the type.

The SAC service is the result of an initiative between NATO members Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and the USA, plus PfP nations Finland and Sweden.

Additional reporting by Joris van Boven at Eindhoven air base