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17th Airlift Squadron
17 AS.jpg
17th Airlift Squadron Patch
Active February 18, 1942 – Present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type Airlift
Part of Air Mobility Command
18th Air Force
437th Airlift Wing
437th Operations Group
Garrison/HQ Charleston Air Force Base
Nickname(s) AAA Moving
Motto(s) Anything, Anywhere, Anytime
Decorations Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg AFOUA
Vietnam gallantry cross unit award-3d.svg RVGC w/ Palm

The 17th Airlift Squadron is one of four active duty C-17A Globemaster III units at Charleston AFB, South Carolina.

The 17th Airlift Squadron is commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel, who serves as head of the squadron and the pilots. The Chief Loadmaster is in charge of the loadmasters, the First Sergeant takes charge of the few support military personnel and civilians working in the squadron.

The 17th was responsible for being the first unit to set up forward deployed C-17 staging operations, at the start of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, creating the 817th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron (EAS) .

The 17th Airlift Squadron recently stepped up to the plate once more and created another EAS. For the first time, two C-17 Squadrons became deployed in forward theater locations, supporting Operations Iraqi Freedom, and Enduring Freedom. The 817th Area of Responsibility split. On June 1, 2006, the 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron was created and launched its first crew 15 minutes later.

Unlike previous C-17 deployments, this one actually had the squadron itself doing all the flying from "an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia." The 17th helped initiate a whole new concept in C-17 operations in that this was the first time that the airframe was employed like traditional intratheater airlift assets such as the C-12, C-20, C-21 or the C-130. However, unlike traditional tactical airlift assets that are under the direct command of the theater commander, the 817th EAS is headquartered out of theater.


  • Constituted as the 17th Air Corps Ferrying Squadron on February 18, 1942
Activated on April 27, 1942
Redesignated the 17th Transport Squadron on March 19, 1943
Disbanded on October 31, 1943
  • Reconstituted, and redesignated the 17th Air Transport Squadron, Medium on March 22, 1954
Activated on July 18, 1954
Redesignated the 17th Air Transport Squadron, Heavy on June 18, 1958
Redesignated the 17th Military Airlift Squadron on January 8, 1966
Inactivated on April 8, 1969
  • Activated on August 1, 1987
Redesignated the 17th Airlift Squadron on October 1, 1991

Note: the 17th Airlift Squadron already existed at the time of redesignation as a C-130 squadron based at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska. This unit originated from the 17th Troop Carrier Squadron under Alaskan Air Command in 1964. The squadron was redesignated the 17th Tactical Airlift Squadron in 1966. It was redesignated the 517th Airlift Squadron upon activation of the C-17 unit that took its name. In January 2006 the 517th Airlift Squadron began its own transition from C-130s to C-17s with the final C-130 leaving the unit on March 26, 2007.[1]



Hamilton Field, California, April 27, 1942 – October 31, 1943

  • Charleston AFB, South Carolina, July 18, 1954 – April 8, 1969; August 1, 1987 –



World War II:
Air Transport and aircraft delivery to the Pacific Theater

  • Worldwide Airlift beginning 1954
  • Missions to Southeast Asia, 1964–1969
  • Supported operations in Panama, December 18–29, 1989, and Southwest Asia, August 1990 – December 1991
  • Continues to support operations in Afghanistan, September 2001 – present
  • Continues to support operations in Iraq, 2003–present
  • Supported Tsunami Relief in India and Sri Lanka
  • Supported Pakistan earthquake relief
  • Supported Katrina Relief in United States
  • Supported the evacuation of American Citizens from Lebanon

Awards and decorations

Service Streamers

World War II American Theater

Campaign Streamers

Southwest Asia: Defense of Saudi Arabia; Liberation and Defense of Kuwait

Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers

Panama, 1989–1990


Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards:

  • January 1, 1963 – February 1, 1964
  • July 11, 1966 – July 10, 1967
  • July 11, 1967 – July 10, 1968
  • July 11, 1968 – April 8, 1969
  • July 1, 1988 – June 30, 1989
  • July 1, 1989 – June 30, 1990
  • September 21, 1989 - October 31, 1989

Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm: April 1, 1966 – April 8, 1969


On an Air Force Blue globe, grid lines White, issuing from the top of a White scroll, two hands flesh tone, winged at the wrists White, bearing supplies or cargo Air Force golden Yellow; outlines and details Air Force Blue throughout. MOTTO: ANYTHING, ANYWHERE, ANYTIME. Approved October 27, 1959 (K 11458).


External links

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