C-17 Globemaster Offloads Missile Defense Gear, Light Streaks Play Around It

C-17 Globemaster III in Alaska 14 photos
Photo: USAF/Senior Airman Joseph Leveille
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Over the past two years or so, we’ve gotten used to seeing snippets of life and hardware in the Air Force (USAF), thanks to our coverage of the military branch’s release. We’ve taken a particular liking to the photos of aircraft in operation the USAF often publishes, because they show hardware we regular Joes don’t usually get to see all that much.
If you’ve been following our Photo of the Day section, then you know the USAF is not into special effects, and likes to show off its gear in the most natural of guises, given how pretty much all military aircraft are spectacular enough not to need help looking even more so.

Intentional or not, that’s not what we have here, as the C-17 Globemaster III partially visible in this particular photo has been embellished with bright streaks playing over its wings, in a truly stunning light show.

At the time the pic was snapped, at the beginning of March, this representative of “the most flexible cargo aircraft to enter the airlift force” was on the deck of the Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, unloading missile defense equipment.

The gear was needed as the Air Force was getting ready to kick off Exercise Arctic Edge 2022, “the largest joint exercise in Alaska,” one that draws in about 1,000 U.S. military personnel for war games alongside the Canadian Armed Forces.

This particular C-17 Globemaster III is deployed with the 145th Airlift Wing, and it’s just as capable as all of its siblings. With a maximum takeoff weight of 585,000 pounds (over 265 tons), it can carry 170,900 pounds (77.5 tons) of payload at cruise altitudes of 28,000 feet (8,534 meters).

First deployed in 1993, the fleet of Globemaster IIIs has grown to comprise close to 160 units at the time of writing.
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Editor's note: Gallery shows other Globemasters.

About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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