A McDonnell Douglas Globemaster III, #90-0535, climbs away from the former MIG training base at Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina, after delivering another load of vital equipment to "Operation Joint Endeavor" peacekeeping troops. Beginning from Rhein-Main Air Base, Germany in December 1995, the C-17 was the only U.S. airlifter capable of carrying oversize equipment and cargo as well as passengers into the limited facilities at Tuzla, the main staging area for the U.S. peacekeeping force. Piloting the aircraft depicted here is Captain John P. Healey (now Lt Gen, Chief of Air Force Reserve, Headquarters U.S. Air Force) with the artist Keith Ferris as a passenger. In August 2021, the C-17 was central in Afghanistan withdrawal operations. During "Operation Allies Refuge", the Air Force transported more than 124,000 people out of the Hamid Karzai International Airport from August 14th to August 30th. On August 15th, one of the C-17s ferried out 823 people, setting a new record for the most passengers transported in a single flight on a Globemaster III and making international headlines.
The artist was privileged to participate in nine missions, involving eighteen sorties in eight days during January 1996 into Bosnia and was impressed with the C-17's ability to carry huge loads into the most difficult areas day or night in the most difficult weather, and to do so with better than a 95% departure reliability rate.