ASB Chairman visits Strategic Airlift Capability

28 March 2014

Mr Per Christensen, NATO Support Organization Agency Supervisory Board (ASB) Chairman, visited the Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC) at Pápa Air Base in Hungary on 11 March 2014. 

During the visit, Mr Christensen, accompanied by the Head of the NSPO Secretariat, Dr Keith Amoss, met with representatives of the NATO Airlift Management (NAM) Programme Office and the Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW). During the day they were briefed on SAC and its opportunities, challenges and developments. Mr Wiek Noldus, the NATO Airlift Programme Manager, focussed on the responsibilities the NAM Programme Office has in relation to airworthiness.

Under the SAC partnership, the NAM Programme Office along with the HAW jointly deliver a strategic airlift capability for its participants to support EU / NATO / UN operations or national military, peacekeeping and humanitarian relief operations, wherever and whenever needed.

As the owner of the aircraft, the NAM Programme has the responsibility for the C-17s to be compliant with the airworthiness requirements in force and are in a condition for safe operation. Another topic that was highlighted was the NAM Programme’s membership in the ‘C-17 Virtual Fleet’, an award winning solution to achieve improvements in C-17 mission readiness, while reducing operating and support costs through global partnering. Other initiatives to increase effectiveness and efficiency are the improvement of SAC’s Infrastructure, with a new C-17 size hangar, back shops and office buildings, and looking at alternative ways of facilitating crew training.

After the lunch break, Colonel Trevor Nitz (USAF), vice-Commander of the HAW, provided a detailed brief on the SAC missions. Besides the Wing’s accomplishments since the start of operations, nearly 5 years ago, and information on new evolving destinations, he also clarified the composition of the HAW. Contribution to HAW personnel is based on the participating nation’s declared flight hours.

Mr Christensen was very pleased with the information provided and added, "Today, I met many enthusiastic and motivated people. This is important work and I have been impressed with the professionalism and dedication on show.” The visit ended with a tour on the base and a visit to one of the C-17s.