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A C-17 from Altus AFB was spotted at Stuart air show

  • Published
  • By U.S. Air Force Story by Senior Airman Franklin R. Ramos
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
A U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III cargo aircraft crew assigned to the 97th Air Mobility Wing participated in 2016 Stuart Air Show, Stuart Florida from Nov. 4 – 6 2016.

The aircrew consisted of both C-17 pilot and loadmaster instructors from the 97th AMW.

“Team Altus is here with a static display supporting the Stuart airshow,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Chris Murri, 58th Airlift Squadron instructor pilot. “Obviously the inside [of the C-17] is very big, so a lot of people can filter in and get a good look of what the jet looks like. We’ll let them up into the cockpit, sit in the seats and just see what it’s like to fly a big jet like this.”

With the 97th AMW being the sole school house for training all C-17 aircrews, the airshow provided instructors the opportunity to educate attendees on the aircraft’s capabilities and their mission of training.

“Altus AFB is the formal training unit, where all the C-17 pilots across the U.S. come to learn how to fly the C-17,” said Murri. “This is where all the instructor pilots and instructor loadmaster are all stationed, so it’s a chance for us as instructor pilots to interface with the public and to show them what the C-17 is all about.”

Having C-17 aircrew experts onboard makes it easier to help educate the public about the aircraft and its mission in the U.S. Air Force.

“The first thing people see is obviously how massive the jet is,” said Murri. “When they get inside their eyes light up, they got a big smile on their face and they’re just looking at all the wires and pieces [inside]. Then they get to go up into the cockpit and the number one question that we always get is ‘Do you guys know what all these buttons do?’ The answer is yes we know what all of them do.”

“I think it’s cool because it’s large enough to carry vehicles as well as personnel, so it’s good at what it’s designed to be doing. I think it’s really a big attraction for the kids to see,” said Danielle Tufano, an air show attendee. “You don’t think that military aircraft are this large until you see them on the tarmac, so it’s cool to get an up close and personal view of what the military has.”

Participating in events such as the Stuart Air Show provides military members an opportunity to engage with local citizens and strengthen the relationships between military and non-military organizations.

“It’s a chance for the public to come out and see the jet, see the awesome capabilities and for us to kind of speak to that a little bit. I think that’s important to a lot of people,” said Murri. “We get a lot of veterans that come by and want to tell us their war, stories which is fun for us to hear. It really allows us to interface, which we don’t get to do on a day-to-day basis with the general public.”

The C-17 static display is also a great opportunity for individuals wanting to become a USAF pilot or loadmaster to gain insight on these specific career fields.

“I enjoy this. I think this is the future of the Air Force,” said Sudduth. “You’re going to see a lot of young people join our Air Force, and a good positive influence would be great to help our recruitment. I think that’s important.”