Here's why Reach 871's Aircrew are the real deal
The C-17 Globemaster. Workhorse. School Bus. Lifeline.
There are some jobs that are thankless, until they aren't. Ask most Air Force pilots what they really want to fly, and most of the time, it's fighters or something sexy. Rarely will you hear someone say that they really wanted to be associated with moving gear, troops, or equipment across the world.
A common jab amongst service members is that only the frontline combat troops matter. Infantry, Armor, Attack Helicopters, Fighter Aircraft.... everything and everyone exists to make them heroes at the right time. To save the day at the right time.
History doesn't tell you about how those heroes were sustained, or moved to their location, or fed, or transported, or supplied. There is rarely a discussion about the hard work that goes into putting that single aircraft 6000 miles away from the United States in a position to be successful. Just the simple fact that we are discussing a SUPPORT aircraft is
But here's the thing - when things need to move, when you absolutely have to put that Soldier, that piece of equipment, or in this case, those 800 Afghani's, anywhere in the world, the professionals you want leading that mission are those C-17 Pilots and Air Crew.
The politics of this image will last a lifetime. That is not what is important here, nor is the message I'm attempting to extend.
The ability to be able to reach out and touch anywhere in the world with an amazing aircraft like the C-17 and deliver the promise of American military power is awe inspiring.
Before the invention of the airplane, military power was projected mainly through a nation's naval force. When a ship showed up off your coast - you knew that something was afoot.
That changed with aircraft. Now - this image, the one where the U.S. is taking as many people as possible out of a conflict zone - will live on forever as an example of what we CAN do.
Hat's off to this air crew specifically, and many of the other ones out there like them. Reach 871 will become synonymous with this moment in time. They continue to extend the military power of the United States simply by doing their jobs.
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