The first two Royal Australian Air Force C-17 pilots to complete flight training in-country have officially graduated. Flight Lieutenant David Whyte and Pilot Officer Stephen Maunder are the first two pilots to undertake their conversion course at RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland. Until now, all Australian C-17 pilots have been initially trained in the U.S.
Pilots converting to the C-17A require 350 hours of training provided by Boeing instructors, which includes 120 hours in a flight simulator. The operational conversion course is concluded by conducting a series of five flights in one of the RAAF’s four C-17s. Australia is the only country outside of the U.S. with its own local-based C-17 pilot training facilities which are provided by Boeing Defense, Space and Security’s Training Systems and Services division. All other C-17 operators conduct pilot training through the United States Air Force.
About the time ceremonies were underway in Australia, one of the RAAF’s aircraft was busy delivering a pair of refurbished Australian Light Armoured Vehicles (Aslav) to the Australian Forces’ 1st Mentoring Task Force in Afghanistan. The vehicles were flown into the Multinational Base of Tarin Kowt.
Aslav rolls out. (all photos Australian DoD)
Making a smart departure from Tarin Kowt's dirt strip.