Three Australian Giants of the Air Gather at Eindhoven
6 August 2014
The Royal Australian Air Force’s support to Operation Bring Them Home was on show on 1 August with half of the RAAF’s fleet of massive C-17A Globemaster transport aircraft at Eindhoven Airport in the Netherlands.
Two C-17As have been providing an intra-theatre heavy lift capability, moving people, equipment and supplies between Eindhoven Airfield in the Netherlands and Kharkiv International Airport in the Ukraine.
The aircraft operate nearly 24 hours a day, seven days a week to support the international recovery and investigation effort focussed on downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.
The C-17A presence at Eindhoven was bolstered further on August 1st with the arrival of a third C-17A on a logistics flight from Australia with additional air crews and technical equipment.
Air Mobility Task Force Commander, Squadron Leader Dean Bolton, said the third aircraft’s payload and passengers will ensure the Globemasters continue to operate at a high tempo.
"So far was have not missed a single scheduled mission and that's due to both the outstanding endurance and performance of the aircraft and the RAAF maintenance and technical personnel who are doing everything they can to keep us in the air and on schedule," he said.
"Everyone deployed here and everyone back at 36 Squadron has been supporting us 100 per cent, which has resulted in an amazing rate of effort from the guys working on the ground and our pilots and flight crews in the air.
"That’s resulted in us flying about 23-and-a-half hours per 24 hour period."
"We are continually overwhelmed by the support we are receiving from the Royal Netherlands Air Force, we wouldn’t be able to achieve everything we want to do here without their support," Squadron Leader Bolton said.
"They are professional and very similar to us in many ways. The fact we are all working towards a common goal is helping make an extremely difficult task just that little bit easier."
The third C-17A has now returned to Australia.
The Australian Government continues to work alongside Dutch and Ukrainian authorities to ensure the swift identification and repatriation of victims of the MH17 tragedy.