Inside a C-17A aircraft

Amberley welcomes an 'ambassador' for region

THE last of Amberley's eight-strong C-17A fleet has arrived on base, with an official welcoming ceremony held yesterday.

The first of two additional C-17A Globemaster III aircraft arrived on base on July 29, a $1billion investment in the country's ability to deploy troops and combat equipment to global military operations.

The acquisition also brought work opportunities for the local industry, with $300 million being spent to upgrade facilities.

Member for Blair Shayne Neumann said Ipswich was a "defence city" and welcomed the C-17.

"This particular strategic air capacity improves the goodwill that the people of our region in Asia and the Pacific have for Australia. The C-17 is an Australian ambassador," he said.

Defence Minister Mal Brough said the C-17 fleet allowed Australia to rapidly deploy troops, combat equipment, tanks, helicopters and humanitarian resources worldwide.

"The C-17A Globemaster has played a central role in the ADF's activities, including supporting the international effort to combat Daesh in Iraq and Syria, recovering the victims of the MH-17 tragedy in the Ukraine, and delivering disaster relief to victims of the Vanuatu cyclone and Queensland floods," Mr Brough said.

Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Leo Davies signalled how integral the fleet was to defence operations, saying he wanted to have number 7 and 8 aircraft displayed for the ceremony but number 7 was deployed to the Middle East.

"Additional aircraft mean we can better meet the demands of moving personnel and equipment, within the short timeframes required in emergency situations, such as floods and cyclones," Air Marshal Davies said.



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