JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. (AFNS) -- A new C-17 Globemaster III was named for all Medal of Honor recipients during a ceremony here July 26 during Air Mobility Rodeo 2011.
Gen. Raymond E. Johns Jr., the Air Mobility Command commander, officially dedicated the C-17, which will join the fleet at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, as the "Spirit of the Medal of Honor."
The naming ceremony is a time-honored Air Force tradition of dedicating aircraft to significant places, events and people. Previous honorees include prisoners of war and missing in action service members, as well as Purple Heart recipients.
"(The) Medal of Honor serves as a symbol of courage and military heroism in defense of America's freedoms," said Bob Ciesla, a Boeing C-17 program manager. "Likewise, whenever this C-17 flying the insignia of the Spirit of the Medal of Honor lands, the spirit of America's bravest will land with it, bringing hope, saving lives and preserving peace."
Retired Air Force Col. Joe Jackson and retired Army Col. Bruce Crandall, both Medal of Honor recipients, attended the ceremony.
"It's humbling to be here in the presence of America's bravest patriots," Ciesla said.
Johns expressed his gratitude to both service members for what they contributed to the military and country, saying they were called upon unexpectedly when it mattered most.
During the ceremony Johns and Ciesla, along with Jackson and Crandall, unveiled the new C-17. Ciesla also presented Johns and the Medal of Honor recipients with a lithograph from the employees of Boeing as a thank you for the service and sacrifice they gave to their country.
Article by Airman 1st Class Michael Battles, 60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs