C-17s fly over Ravenel Bridge en route to airdrop exercise

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Those who were outside may have heard a large roar over the Ravenel Bridge.

Roughly 15 C-17 Globemaster III aircrafts took off from Joint-Base Charleston Tuesday morning and flew over the Charleston landmark at approximately 12:43 p.m.

The planes are headed to Louisiana where they will provide airdrop support during an exercise at Fort Polk.

"Our Rapid Global Mobility force is a partnership between active duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian work forces working together to execute the air mobility mission around the world," said Col. Jimmy Canlas, who is the 437th Airlift Wing commander. "Our Mobility Airmen enable the joint fight. Without our critical capabilities, combatant commanders would not be able to rapidly get the right people and equipment to the right place and time."

The C-17s along with two F-16s then flew to Columbia and flew over the state house.

"It was pretty cool forming up with the fleet of C-17s and F-16s," said Alex LeBlanc, a C-17 co-pliot with the 437 Airlift Wing. "We need to be ready to do this for humanitarian missions. So if there are hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes anywhere, we need to be able to have a quick global response to show the community that we're practicing and ready to answer their call is a good demonstration of our pure cause."

"In case a real world situation happens, we'll be able to get out and deliver what needs to be transported," said Raymond Salas, a C-17 loadmaster with the 437 Airlift Wing.

"I called several people to make sure they're out and told them I'd be waving," state representative Joe Daning said, referencing the capital flyover. "I really appreciate the Air Force and everyone at the base opening up the gates and letting us do this. It's a wonderful opportunity. These guys put their lives on the line every day to take care of us and protect us."

Joint Base Charleston officials say the exercise has been coordinated with the Charleston County Aviation Authority and should not delay regularly scheduled flights at Charleston International Airport.

Joint Base Charleston conducts this exercise with the community involved annually.

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