NATO Airlift Management (NAM) Programme participates in ‘C-17 Virtual Fleet’ meeting

19 December 2013

Mr Wiek NOLDUS, the NATO Airlift Management (NAM) Programme Manager, participated in the Global C-17 Sustainment Partnership meeting, also known as the ‘C-17 Virtual Fleet’ meeting in San Antonio, Texas, USA.

At this meeting in early December, partners shared information and evaluated the execution of the USAF’s C-17 Globemaster III Integrated Sustainment Program (GISP) contract. Other members include Australia, Great Britain, Canada, Kuwait, India, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and the USA.

Through the GISP solution, the NAM Programme Office, an integral part of the NATO Support Agency (NSPA), is able to sustain an aircraft availability rate of more than 90% for the Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW), the operational arm of the Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC). The GISP provides major advantages: safety and affordability for the SAC participating nations; access to a global network of C-17 support bases, parts, and services; the leverage obtained from the larger USAF organization and from cooperation with other partners. Having one common technical configuration of the C-17 Globemaster III strategic transportation aircraft allows members to exchange parts between aircraft, creating one worldwide operating fleet of C-17s. Only in this way can the NAM Programme remain lean and flexible to a degree that is without precedent within today’s community of aerospace support managers.

Mr Noldus was pleased with the outcome of the meeting: "It was a great opportunity to meet, share information and identify collaboration opportunities with the other members of the C-17 Virtual Fleet. Our discussions on the overall performance of this partnership improved transparency and hopefully allow better understanding of each other’s needs." The meeting in San Antonio ended with a tour of the Boeing Global Services & Support (GS&S) San Antonio business unit which provides short cycle-time maintenance and modification services for large aircraft such as the C-17 Globemaster III.

Under the SAC Initiative the HAW and the NAM Programme Office jointly deliver strategic airlift capability required for national operations of the participating nations, including those in support of NATO, UN and EU commitments. Its main location is Pápa Air Base, Hungary and it has footprints at NSPA in Capellen, Luxembourg and at the USAF C-17 Division, Wright Patterson AFB in Dayton (OH), United States. The SAC Nations consist of the NATO members Hungary, Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and the United States and NATO Partnership for Peace nations Finland and Sweden.