CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - After 73 years of service, the historic 17th Airlift Squadron will be inactivated during a ceremony at Joint Base Charleston. The squadron will be commemorated on the flight line prior to the inactivation ceremony Thursday, June 25, 2015 at 11 a.m. The inactivation is part of a larger Air Force reduction in the 2015 federal budget. The 10th Airlift Squadron at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Washington will be inactivated next year.
The 17th Airlift Squadron was originally activated in April 1942 as the 17th Air Corps Ferrying Squadron at Hamilton Field California. The squadron made history by becoming the first squadron to fly the C-17A Globemaster III. The the "Spirit of Charleston" was delivered to Charleston Air Force Base on June 14, 1993.
At the start of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, the 17th Airlift Squadron set up deployed C-17 staging operations. Then on June 1, 2006 the squadron made history again by establishing the first fully-deployed C-17 squadron, the 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron. The squadron received the Air Force's David C. Schilling Award in 2007, given for outstanding contributions in flight by a single unit.
The 17th Airlift Squadron's eight C-17 cargo jets at Joint Base Charleston will be placed on backup status as part of the inactivation.