C-17 flies through milestone at Joint Base Charleston

Chris O'Rourke (WCIV)

By Stacy

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- The C-17 that arrived at Joint Base Charleston Wednesday may be the oldest in the fleet, but it wasn't showing its age.

Aircraft 9192 has been flying from Charleston for 20 years. On Wednesday, it logged its 20,000th hour in the air.

"We have flown it faster than expected, when it first came online in 1993; a lot of it having to with Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom," Col. Jamie Fontanella said.

Norman Moore has been working on C-17s since they landed in Charleston 20 years ago and though they fly around the world, he said they'd left their mark on the Lowcountry.

"With all the C-17s and the people that support them, that fly them, maintain them, it means a lot to the local community," Moore said.

The plane is most useful for its versatility and high capacity, officials said. That makes it ideal for a lot of different types of missions.

"It can do night operations. It can airdrop. It can land on short airfields. It can do anything that's needed like that," Moore said.

The massive machines will fly wherever they are needed, be it an international conflict or a humanitarian relief operation, he said.

"You can bet a yellow-tail Charleston-based C17 like 9192 today is leading that charge," Moore said.

It's a little bit of the Lowcountry leaving its mark around the world.

Boeing produces C-17s at a plant in California. The U.S. Air Force purchased its last C-17 in September.