Boeing C-17 Globemaster
The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) operates eight Boeing C-17 Globemaster III large transport aircraft. Four C-17s were ordered in mid-2006 to improve the ability of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to operate outside Australia and its region. The aircraft entered service between November 2006 and January 2008, the second pair being delivered ahead of schedule. Two more Globemasters were ordered in 2011, the sixth being delivered to the RAAF in November 2012. Another two C-17s were ordered in October 2014, with the final aircraft being delivered in November 2015. The Globemasters are built to the same specifications as those operated by the United States Air Force (USAF), and the Australian aircraft are maintained through an international contract with Boeing.
All of the RAAF's Globemasters are assigned to No. 36 Squadron and are based at RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland. The aircraft have supported ADF operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and other locations in the Middle East, as well as training exercises in Australia and the United States. They have also transported supplies and personnel as part of relief efforts following natural disasters in Australia, Japan, New Zealand and several other countries. The C-17s are highly regarded throughout the Australian military for their ability to carry large amounts of cargo across long distances, and the process through which they were acquired has been identified as an example of good practice in defence procurement.