Anyone who has lived in the Valley for a while is familiar with those big Hercules C-130 aircraft flying on maneuvers.  But earlier this month you may have seen some even larger planes.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Christina Russo has shared photographs of a C-17 Globemaster III that recently took part in the Air Force Reserve Command's Integrated Defense Leadership Course at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station.

The big bird flew into Vienna from Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina to Security Forces Defenders taking part in the course on March 3.

According to the Air Force, the Integrated Defense Leadership Course is an intensely focused, two-week, hands-on training program for participants to achieve and maintain combat readiness.

The course uses the sprawling training grounds at Camp James A. Garfield Joint Military Training Center in Trumbull and Portage Counties.



The Air Force describes the C-17 Globemaster III as the most flexible cargo aircraft in its airlift force, capable of rapid strategic delivery of troops and all types of cargo to main operating bases or directly to forward bases in a deployment area.

The aircraft can perform tactical airlift and airdrop missions and transport litter and ambulatory patients during aeromedical evacuations.

Measuring 174 feet long with a wingspan of nearly 170 feet, the Globemaster is powered by four turbofan engines, based on the commercial engines used on the Boeing 757. The design characteristics allow it to operate into and out of short runways and austere airfields carrying large payloads. 

The aircraft is operated by a three-person crew, including the pilot, co-pilot, and loadmaster, reducing manpower requirements, risk exposure, and long-term operating costs.

With a maximum payload of 170,900 pounds, the C-17 can carry virtually all the Army's air-transportable equipment such as a 69-ton M1 Abrams main battle tank, armored vehicles, trucks, and trailers.

The C-17 is designed to airdrop 102 paratroopers with their accompanying equipment.