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Last Boeing C-17 Departs Long Beach Facility, Marks End of Aircraft Production in Southern California

Nov 30, 2015 12:52 AM EST | By Jean-Claude Arnobit
Boeing Co., C-17 Globemaster III, last aircraft

Boeing Company has announced in a press release that its final C-17 Globemaster III military aircraft has departed the company's plant in Long Beach, California on Sunday, November 29, 2015.

The departure marks the end of the aircraft production in Long Beach.

Boeing said in the press release that the last C-17 airlifter flew over a crowd and the Long Beach facility before heading to the company's location in San Antonio.

The C-17 will remain in San Antonio until its delivery to Qatar Emiri Air Force in early 2016.

Boeing, who announced the end of production of the airlifter in 2013, adds in the press release that the first C-17 took its first flight on September 15, 1991.

The C-17 fleet has accumulated more than three million flying hours and has supported the airlifting of troops and large cargo, precision airdrop of humanitarian supplies, and lifesaving aeromedical missions.

Nan Bouchard, the vice president and C-17 program manager at Boeing, said in the press release that the company and all of its employees and suppliers "can be proud of" the great aircraft that they have been building over the years.

"Our team's work and dedication and professionalism created one of the world's leading airlifters, a plane that is at the forefront for providing humanitarian aid and has changed the way the U.S. Air Force and our international partners mobilize for operations and aeromedical support," he said.

The Los Angeles Times said that the closing of the 25-acre factory that produced the C-17 is a big blow to the Long Beach economy.

The factory produces almost 400 high-paying manufacturing jobs for Long Beach.

The Los Angeles Times adds that the dwindling of orders forced Boeing to announce the closure of its last assembly plant in 2013.

The U.S. Air Force had bought 223 C-17s with the last one being delivered in 2013.

The Los Angeles Times adds that the C-17 is a wide body aircraft that can carry more than 80 tons of troops, supplies, and vehicles.

The airlifter can operate in remote regions that lack modern runways.

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