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December 2010 will be the busiest month so far for the Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC) Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW), with its three C-17s clocking up 378 flight hours before the month is even over, according to the Netherlands Ministry of Defense. The ministry’s website quotes the commander of the wing’s command and control branch, Norwegian air force Lt.Col. Tom-Ivar Punsvik, as saying such intensive flying is unusual and not sustainable every month but attributing it to support of the Dutch withdrawal from Afghanistan.Netherlands Ministry of Defense photoBy 7 December, the HAW had flown a total of 3,000 flight hours since its first mission in July 2009. The SAC’s 10 nations have signed up to fly 3,165 hours a year.In addition to flying in support of the NATO forces in Afghanistan and Kosovo, in 2010 the HAW supported the humanitarian relief efforts after the Haiti earthquake in January and the floods in Pakistan in July and repatriated the bodies of Polish President Lech Kaczyinski and other officials who died in the air crash in Smolensk in April.
ar99, c-17, nato
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