Boeing and the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) celebrated Qatar's deployment of C-17 Globemaster III airlifters during an Air Force Day ceremony held March 10 at Doha International Airport.
"When the Qatar Emiri Air Force acquired two C-17s last year, we did so with every intention of supporting international disaster-relief and humanitarian missions around the world," said Brig. Gen. Ahmed Al-Malki, Head of Qatar's Airlift Selection Committee. "We take great pride in being among the first of many nations to respond to Haiti and Chile, delivering several thousand tons of food, water and medical supplies."
Just days after Haiti was struck by an earthquake on Jan. 12, a Qatar C-17 delivered aid to the country's capital, Port-au-Prince. On March 4, Qatar sent a C-17 filled with humanitarian aid to Chile in response to that country's Feb. 27 earthquake.
"It is with great appreciation that on Air Force Day we salute the Qatar Emiri Air Force and its leadership for the many important contributions they are making right now in Chile and Haiti," said Chris Chadwick, President, Boeing Military Aircraft. "Boeing employees everywhere were extremely moved to see Qatar's C-17s bringing hope to those in need, and joining so many other nations on lifesaving missions. We're proud that the C-17, with its reputation for reliability and maintainability, is serving your nation, and the people of Chile and Haiti, so well."
Boeing delivered Qatar's first C-17 on Aug. 11 and the second on Sept. 10. Qatar, the first Middle East nation to order the C-17, signed an agreement with Boeing on July 21, 2008, for the two advanced airlifters and associated equipment and services, as well as an option for two additional aircraft. The company provides Qatar's C-17s with operational support, including material management and depot maintenance support, under the C-17 Globemaster III Sustainment Partnership at Al Udeid Air Base, where the QEAF's C-17s are based.
"The Qatar Emiri Air Force's acquisition of the C-17 is a testament to Qatar's laudable and growing role in humanitarian relief around the world," said Paul Kinscherff, President, Boeing Middle East. "Boeing is pleased to be a partner to the State of Qatar as it builds humanitarian capabilities, a global air transport hub, and its role in the aerospace industry."
A total of 214 C-17s are currently in service worldwide. Nineteen of the airlifters are in service with international customers, while the U.S. Air Force, including active Guard and Reserve units, has 195. International customers include Qatar, the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force, the Canadian Forces, the Royal Australian Air Force and the 12-member Strategic Airlift Capability consortium of NATO and Partnership for Peace nations. The United Arab Emirates is on contract for six C-17s, which it will receive in 2011 and 2012.