One of four C-17 squadrons, representing about 400 Air Force jobs, will be inactivated at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in summer 2016, JBLM announced Saturday.
The inactivation of the 10th Airlift Squadron, which includes eight planes, is part of a larger Air Force reduction in the 2015 federal budget, approved by Congress and signed by the president last week. The 17th Airlift Squadron in Charleston, South Carolina, will be inactivated this summer.
Staffing ratios for the remaining airlift squadrons will drop, said Col. David Kumashiro, 62nd Airlift Wing commander at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
The 10th Airlift Squadron celebrated its 10th year at Joint Base Lewis-McChord last year, he said.
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“Each squadron has a heritage and a legacy,” Kumashiro said.
The 10th Airlift Squadron has assisted missions from Afghanistan to Antarctica. Most recently, the crew supported operations in West Africa to combat the Ebola epidemic, Kumashiro said. The squadron is also known as the “Pathfinders.”
“There’s a long legacy and heritage with the Pathfinders,” Kumashiro said. “It goes in hibernation until such time as the Air Force stands that unit back up.”
Next year will be the squadron’s 75th anniversary.
The 16 C-17 Globemaster III aircraft from the 10th and 17th Airlift Squadrons will be assigned to backup inventory. Military members who are part of the squadron will be assigned to other duty stations over time, according to a JBLM news release.