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NC Wing Participates in C-17 Acceptance Ceremony for the 145th Airlift Wing

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More than 2,500 attendees witnessed the arrival of the C-17 to their new Charlotte Douglas Air National Guard Facility. Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Laura Montgomery, 145th Airlift Wing, Public Affairs (click image to view full size)
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111th Search and Rescue Composite Squadron Color Guard helps welcome first two C-17s

4/11/2018––The 145th Airlift Wing of the North Carolina Air National Guard (the Wing) welcomed the first two C-17 aircraft to the Wing during the C-17 Acceptance Ceremony on Saturday, 7 April 2018. Presenting the Colors for this special ceremony were members of the 111th Search and Rescue Composite Squadron, representing the North Carolina Wing of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP).

"It was an honor that the 145th Airlift Wing had the confidence in the 111th Color Guard to allow them to present the Colors on such an historic occasion and for including us as a Total Force Partner," said the 111th Search and Rescue Composite Squadron's Commander, Maj Sherry Haskell.
The 145th Airlift Wing stood up on March 15, 1948, just six months after the U.S. Air Force was established as its own separate service on Sept. 18, 1947. Starting with P-47 Thunderbolts, the Wing has undergone several transitions in both aircraft and missions. The most recent change was the Wing's transition to the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III from the venerable Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft. But what remains the same is the dedication and commitment of the Wing's members and their Total Force Partners.
Major General Gregory A. Lusk, the Adjutant General of the North Carolina Air National Guard, and 1400 Airmen from the 145th Airlift Wing were all on hand to witness the acceptance and transition to the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III on April 7th in Hangar 51. 
Asked personally to be a part of the ceremony by Colonel Michael T. Gerock, the Wing Commander of the 145th Airlift Wing, members of the 111th Color Guard recently represented the North Carolina Wing in the CAP Middle East Region Cadet Competition held at Fort Picket, Virginia.
Cadet Color Guard teams have represented CAP in several high-profile appearances such the opening night for the Charlotte Hornets and the World Cup of Dirt Track Finals at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. It was only natural for them to have been selected for this auspicious occasion as a Total Force Partner.
In his closing remarks to the more than 2,500 guests, Col Gerock, the Wing Commander of the 145th Airlift Wing said, “a little over 19 months ago I stood in the back of this hangar and we started this journey together. During this journey I spoke of a simple tool, a lever would help us move the world, today we have received our lever, tomorrow we start moving the world.”
The transition to the C-17 Globemaster III aircraft brings the 145th Airlift Wing into the future by providing greater flexibility and performance, and the capability for rapid strategic delivery of troops and all types of cargo to fulfill worldwide air mobility requirements.
With the departure of the Wing's last C-130 on December 22, 2017, the acceptance ceremony marked a new chapter which will include the Wing's acquisition of six additional C-17 Globemaster III aircraft.
While serving in roles such as supporting community aviation activities as the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, CAP is now recognized as a crucial element of the Total Force. This recognition promotes Air Force-wide awareness of CAP’s existence, value, and contribution as a credible force multiplier and a welcomed partner in accomplishing the Air Force’s missions and programs.