The Air Force Falcons have released what is technically their fourth installment of the Air Power Legacy uniforms. I say ‘technically’ because they have released some awesome alternate uniforms in the past, a few of which paid homage to the power and might of various aircraft in the Air Force’s inventory like the Thunderbirds, but they have really run with the idea of diving into the history and mission of our branch’s planes since starting the tradition nearly four years ago. This season’s uniforms give a nod to one of the workhorses of Air Mobility Command, the C-17 Globemaster.
The need for a large-mobility aircraft capable of air-to-air refueling was proposed in 1979 and McDonnell Douglas, the producer of the F-15 which has since merged with Boeing, won the contract.
Thanks to NASA research in the 1950’s, McDonnell Douglas created an airframe that was capable of short landing and takeoffs on 3,500 foot runways as well as maximum maneuverability thanks to reverse thrust. The first C-17s were delivered to Charleston AFB in 1993 and began operations in 1995. Production ceased in 2013 and now the C-17 is a hallmark of versatility and global air mobility.
From top to bottom, the uniforms are stunning. If you take a look at it while the likes of Kade Remsberg or Geraud Sanders are running by, you’ll surely miss the intricate details that make it such a work of art.
The color way is flat grey with black and white accents just as the C-17 is, and the helmet is meant to be reminiscent of the nose of the aircraft. A front facing silhouette of the plane is on the tab, centered just above the face mask, and the sides feature the same white reflective material on the C-17. It also has the U.S. Air Force lettering as well as the unit patch and Air Mobility Command patch in addition to the wing lettering on either side of the ear slots. The words ‘MOOSE DRIVER’ are raised in the embossed plastic strip just above the neck on the back of the helmet.
The front of the jerseys are fairly subdued, which allows the details to stand out. There is black lettering and logos in the aircraft’s font on top of the matte grey base. The left sleeve has an Air Force roundel while the right reads ‘USAF.’ The back of the jerseys feature the tail flashes of C-17s from the various home bases in place of nametape, including: Charleston AFB, Dover AFB, Elmendorf AFB, Hickham AFB, JB Lewis-McChord, McGuire AFB, Travis AFB, and Wright-Patterson AFB. A red, white, and blue flag sits centered above the tail flashes.
The plants, gloves, and cleats also feature the black, grey, and white motif with more reflective accents and tie the uniform together nicely.
It’s an understatement to say that Air Force really knocked these uniforms and their release out of the park. They captured essence of the plane and its mission perfectly while making a really great looking uniform. To accompany the uniform, Air Force released a line of apparel for fans to purchase, which references the nickname, the moose, given because of the bulky look and sound the aircraft makes while refueling. I haven’t heard the nickname used particularly often by C-17 pilots, at least in comparison to how frequently A-10 drivers will refer to their planes as ‘hawgs’ or F-16 pilots calling their jets ‘vipers,’ but it’s great gear nonetheless.
Another awesome part of the Air Power Legacy Series is that fans can get their own helmet with a donation to the Falcon Athletic Fund. The C-17 helmet will set you back $1,200 minimum, but C-17 pilots have to spend all of that flight pay somewhere, and the money goes to support Air Force athletics.
The Falcons will wear these uniforms when they fittingly travel across the Pacific Ocean to take on Hawaii on October 19th. The game will be played on CBS Sports Network as one of the last games on that day’s slate, giving the uniforms a great platform to be seen across the country.