Feb. 13, 2013
The 17th Airlift Squadron began its existence at Hamilton Field, California in February 1942 as the 17th Air Corps Ferrying Squadron and has since flown a variety of aircraft to include the C-46, C-47, C-54, C-124, C-141 and C-17. Though the aircraft and name of the squadron have changed over the years, the job of the 17th AS has always been air transport.
In June of 1993 the 17th AS became the first operational squadron to take delivery of the Boeing/McDonnell Douglas C-17A Globemaster III, the world's premiere tactical and strategic airlifter. Capable of low-level formation, air refueling and steep approaches into semi-prepared airfields, the 17th currently employs the C-17A around the globe in a number of missions including routine airland transport, airdrop, aeromedical evacuation, emergency nuclear airlift and presidential support. To accomplish these tasks the squadron employs approximately 170 personnel comprised of officers, enlisted and civilian personnel.
In the summer of 2006, the 17th AS made history by standing up the first fully-deployed C-17 squadron--the 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron. For its efforts, the squadron was selected as the Air Force Association's David C. Schilling Award winner in 2007--an award recognizing a single unit for outstanding contributions in the field of fight. The 17th was also Air Mobility Command's selection for Squadron of the Year in 1996 and 1997.
A few of the important operations the squadron has participated in include operations IRAQI FREEDOM, ENDURING FREEDOM, and SOUTHERN WATCH in Southwest Asia as well as JOINT ENDEAVOR in Bosnia. The 17th played a vital role in Operation CENTRAZBAT 97, an eight-aircraft, 20.7-hour, nonstop formation airdrop mission from Pope AFB, NC to Chimkent Drop Zone, Kazakhstan, delivering six High Mobility Multi-wheeled Vehicles (Humvees for short) and 540 paratroopers on time and on target and took part in Operations DESERT SHEILD and DESERT STORM in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, the squadron participated in Operation PROVIDE HOPE in the former Soviet Union, Operation PROVIDE PROMISE in Yugoslavia, Operation RESTORE HOPE in Somalia, Operation MAINTAIN DEMOCRACY in Haiti, Operation ASSURED RESPONSE in Liberia, and Operation SUPPORT HOPE in Rwanda. The men and women of the 17th AS have also provided humanitarian relief to Central America, Puerto Rico, tsunami relief in India and Sri Lanka, Pakistan earth quake relief, and Hurricane Katrina Relief in United States. Most recently the squadron supported the evacuation of American citizens from Lebanon.
For over 66 years, the 17th AS has been delivering hope, protecting freedom and taking the fight to the enemy by maintaining and perfecting the capability of delivering anything, anywhere, anytime. THIS SQUADRON IS CURRENTLY INACTIVE.