Artist: Keith Ferris
Medium: Oil on canvas
Date: 1995

Seconds from touchdown on Howard AFB, Panama’s runway 36 assault zone, USAF C-17 Globemaster III ”Reach” 291 Heavy makes history’s first C-17 Short Austere Airfield (SAAF) landing. Flown from Charleston AFB, South Carolina, by the 17th Airlift Squadron of the pioneer 437th C-17 Airlift Wing, this 12 April 1995 mission carried 78,000 pounds of cargo on 18 palettes to a runway other-wise closed to heavy airlift by runway construction. 291 used only 1800 feet of the available 3,500 feet of runway as it landed toward the closed concrete-truck and heavy equipment covered remaining 5,000 feet of runway. The artist was privileged to participate in this historic mission which was but a hint of the capabilities to be demonstrated by this superb McDonnell DouglasBoeing built aircraft.

On loan from: the United States Air Force Art Collection