Mini C-17's first trip abroad

By Master Sgt. Shane Ellis, 315th Airlift Wing Public Affairs on July 8, 2016

ROYAL NAVAL AIR STATION YEOVILTON, ENGLAND - The 315th Airlift Wing's mini C-17 made its first trip across the pond June 30 and was a huge hit at Yeovilton Air Day 2016.

This is the 315th AWs second time visiting ROYAL Naval Air Station Yeovilton, England, and the mighty presence of the mini C-17 helped seal the deal for another "Best Static Display" award.

The miniature C-17 has been used all across the United States to promote the Air Force Reserve and bolster recruiting efforts at air shows, parades and other community events.

Taking the mini C-17 to RNAS Yeovilton was a bonus for the people visiting the air show, and the reservists on this trip wanted to give the children and people of all ages a sight that is nothing less than amazing.

"We are really good at making people smile when we visit and participate in an air show," said Lt. Col. Craig Bartosh, a 701st Airlift Squadron pilot at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina. "The air show was so successful for us last year; we knew we needed to up our game this year, and the mini C-17 was the perfect solution. Our mini C-17 is an amazing replica of the C-17, and it speaks volumes to the hard work and dedication of the men and women who represent the 315th Airlift Wing."

Once on the ground in Yeoviltion it didn't take long for the entire crew to join forces and get the mini C-17 assembled. Unloading the custom truck and trailer took patience, skill and knowledge, and after that was achieved it was all hands on deck.

Positioned slightly off the left nose of the C-17, the min C-17 started getting walk-by traffic immediately from other vendors and crew members who were setting up for the next day's air show.

And, yes... just like in air shows past, there were many who asked if the mini C-17 could take to the skies and fly.

According to Master Sgt. Chris Fabel, a 315th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron flying crew chief, the idea of building a mini C-17 was birthed in 1999. It wasn't until 2002 when the 23-month construction phase began to bring the idea to life.

Fabel has been with the mini C-17 from its inception, and he continues to volunteer his time as a member of the mini C-17 team. Each mini C-17 event requires an assembly team of three to four members and is based on the specific needs at each event.

The 315th AW also won best in show for their static display at the airshow.