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NEWS | Feb. 21, 2014

Kuwait Air Force receive 1st C-17 through 437th AW 'Seasoning' program

By Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Five members of the Kuwait Air Force transited through Joint Base Charleston, Feb. 14, 2014, en route to Kuwait, where they delivered their nation's first C-17 Globemaster III.

The Kuwait Air Force members were embedded with the 17th Airlift Squadron for the past month, to receive "seasoning" training from the U.S. Air Force on the C-17. The training familiarized the Kuwaiti flight crew on operations and maintenance of the aircraft.

"During the Kuwaitis time here at JB Charleston, they received ground training from the 17th instructor pilots and instructor loadmasters," said Master Sgt. Mark Hafer, 17th AS first sergeant. "The Kuwaitis also received simulator training and flight training with the 17th as well."

The Kuwaiti aircrew members also had the opportunity to see how other operational and support squadrons at JB Charleston support Air Mobility Command by providing safe, precise and reliable airlift.

"I enjoyed instructing the Kuwaitis during their time with us and am proud that they spent their time training and flying with the 17th Airlift Squadron," said Hafer.

The aircrew travelled to Long Beach, Calif., Feb. 7, to conduct their final navigation courses and their last official training. The aircraft departed for Kuwait, Feb. 15.

"Pilots and loadmasters from the 17th Airlift Squadron had the unique opportunity to train side by side with our Kuwaiti partners over the last four weeks," said Lt. Col. Paul Theriot, 17th AS commander. "They were fresh out of Altus, and we topped off that schoolhouse training with some additional seasoning hear at Charleston consisting of local flights and simulators. They were fantastic to work and fly with, and I think both sides came away feeling our international bonds were strengthened."