_ Home your visit our history museum collection restoration hangar educational activities museum news donations join us contacts & links


C-17A S/N 05-5146
Accepted – February 02, 2006 
Assigned to the 15th Airlift Wing (PACAF), Hickam  AFB, HI
photo by Tech. Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo                                                                                        USAF

F-15A Eagles from the 199th Fighter Squadron, 154th Wing, Hawaii Air National Guard escort the first Hawaii-based C-17 Globemaster III the "Spirit of Hawaii-Ke Aloha" to its home. Hickam is the first base outside the continental U.S. to permanently host the C-17. By the summer of 2006 the base will be home to eight C-17s. The 15th Airlift Wing and the 154th Wing will jointly operate and maintain the aircraft.


Photo by Gina Vanatter                                                              BOEING        


Ble Haku (Hawaiian reverend) Ray Ganotise performs the traditional Hawaiian blessing, known as a pule  on Hawaii's First C-17 during its assembly at Boeings Long Beach plant. Speaking and chanting in Hawaiian – and occasionally English – Ganotise offered his blessing for the advanced airlifter. “Grant this aircraft that will fly as swift as a bird, through stormy weather and stormy skies,” said Ganotise, also a Master Sergeant in the Hawaii National Guard.



Boeing employes Ruben A. Garcia (blue hat) and Mike Garcia put the finishing touches on the "Spirit of Hawaii-Ke Aloha" as part of the week-long paint process.



 The "Spirit of Hawaii-Ke Aloha" destined for the 15th Airlift Wing will be first USAF C-17 to be based outside of the continental United States.  

photo by Gina Vanatter                                                                                                                             boeing

On 20 January 2006 the first USAF C-17 Globemaster III to be based outside the continental United States, the “Spirit of Hawaii,” is pictured taking off for its  first flight from the Long Beach airport adjacent to the Boeing facility where it’s assembled.

photo by Tech. Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo                                                                                        USAF

The first Hawaii-based C-17 Globemaster III, the "Spirit of Hawaii-Ke Aloha" flies past Diamond Head volcanic crater on its way to Hickam AFB for the official arrival ceremony, February 8, 2006.

photo by Tech. Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo                                                                                        USAF

The "Spirit of Hawaii-Ke Aloha" flies over Hickam Air Force Base and nearby Pearl Harbor for the arrival ceremony.

photo by Maj. Brad Jessmer                                                                                                                       USAF

Brig. Gen. Peter S. Pawling, commander of the 154th Wing, Hawaii Air National Guard; Ron Marcotte the vice president and general manager for global mobility at the Boeing Company; Kahu Kordell Kekoa; and Col. William J. Changose, commander of the 15th Airlift Wing, watch Gen. Paul V. Hester, commander, Pacific Air Forces, and the Hawaiian Gov. Linda Lingle christen PACAF's first C-17, the "Spirit of Hawaii-Ke Aloha," at Hickam AFB on February 8, 2006.  

Ceremony christens first C-17 in Pacific Air Forces 

 HICKAM AIR FORCE BASE, Hawaii (AFPN) -- The first of eight C-17 Globemaster III cargo jets arrived here Feb. 8  (2006) for its christening and Hawaiian blessing before a crowd of spectators and distinguished visitors from the local and military communities. 15th Airlift Wing Airmen and members of the 154th Wing, Hawaii Air National Guard flew the C-17 together, signifying a new era of “total force integration.” “It was a logical step for us to invite the Guard in this adventure,” said Gen. Paul V. Hester, Pacific Air Forces commander. “We’ll have Guardsmen working side-by-side with active duty in maintaining and flying the airplane just as we did today on its first mission.”

The new squadron of C-17s will dramatically increase the military’s capability to rapidly deploy valuable assets anywhere in the Pacific. “To be partnered up with the Air Force in this fashion with our Air Guard is a first-of-a-kind partnership and we are really proud of that,” said Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle. When asked if this aircraft would see combat missions, General Hester said, “These planes are strategic airlift, meaning they will fly all over the world. So consequently they will do whatever mission is on their plate. It could be taking supplies to our forces in Japan and Korea, or it could be landing in the desert in Afghanistan. Our Hawaii crews are going to be involved in everything this aircraft was designed to do.”  

Pre-ceremony entertainment included music from the Royal Hawaiian Band, conch shell blowing, a Chinese lion dance and cultural dance performances of Japan, South Korea and the Philippines. Shortly before the C-17 taxied to the stands, the Kamehameha Children’s Chorus sang several songs followed by the Halau Hula Dancers, a local youth group who danced in traditional attire and performed as the new jet pulled to a stop.  

Brig. Gen. Peter S. Pawling, commander of the 154th Wing, and Col. William J. Changose, commander of the 15th Airlift Wing, unveiled the C-17, named the “Spirit of Hawaii, Ke Aloha.” After receiving a traditional Hawaiian blessing, the aircraft opened and ceremony attendees walked through to view their new aircraft. "We're really excited about this partnership with the 15th Airlift Wing,” General Pawling said. “It will combine the best strengths that the Air National Guard and the active duty have to offer -- the long-term stability and expertise of the Guard work force and the fresh ideas and enthusiasm that active-duty Airmen will bring.” 

The arrival of the C-17 marks many firsts for the Air Force, including the first C-17 squadron created from scratch, the first non-continental U.S. C-17 base and the first strategic airlift wing for PACAF. “Total force is alive here today,” Colonel Changose said. “The U.S. Air Force and United States at large is going to benefit from the partnership between the 15th Airlift Wing and the 154th Wing.” “We're one team first,” said General Pawling. “Then we're the Hawaii Air Guard and active duty. I honestly could not think of a better place to forge this partnership than here in Hawaii, where we have such long established ties at Hickam between the Hawaii Air National Guard, our active duty hosts and PACAF.”

Website provided and maintained by:
The McChord Air Museum Foundation
P.O. Box 4205
McChord AFB, WA. 98438-0205
e-mail - mamfound@mcchordairmuseum.org