HomeNewsArticle Display

Air mobility squadron keeps C-17s ready for fight

Airman 1st Class Nathan Travis, a 5th Expeditionary Air Mobility Squadron aircraft electrical and environment systems journeyman, inspects wiring on the stabilizer strut of a C-17 Globemaster III at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia Jan. 13, 2017. Crew chiefs from the small squadron rely on specialists such as electricians to help out with inspections. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Andrew Park)

Airman 1st Class Nathan Travis, a 5th Expeditionary Air Mobility Squadron aircraft electrical and environment systems journeyman, inspects wiring on the stabilizer strut of a C-17 Globemaster III at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia Jan. 13, 2017. Crew chiefs from the small squadron rely on specialists such as electricians to help out with inspections. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Andrew Park)

Two Airmen from the 5th Expeditionary Air Mobility Squadron, grease points on the nose landing gear of a C-17 Globemaster III during a post-flight inspection at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia Jan. 13, 2017. The squadron flies an average of 2,500 sorties a year, moving 180,000 personnel and 80,000 tons of cargo. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Andrew Park)

Two Airmen from the 5th Expeditionary Air Mobility Squadron, grease points on the nose landing gear of a C-17 Globemaster III during a post-flight inspection at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia Jan. 13, 2017. The squadron flies an average of 2,500 sorties a year, moving 180,000 personnel and 80,000 tons of cargo. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Andrew Park)

Tech. Sgt. Devon Edwards, a 5th Expeditionary Air Mobility Squadron aerospace maintenance craftsman, fills a grease gun at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia Jan. 13, 2017. During post-flight inspections of the C-17 Globemaster IIIs, 5th EAMS Airmen grease approximately 200 points around the aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Andrew Park)

Tech. Sgt. Devon Edwards, a 5th Expeditionary Air Mobility Squadron aerospace maintenance craftsman, fills a grease gun at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia Jan. 13, 2017. During post-flight inspections of the C-17 Globemaster IIIs, 5th EAMS Airmen grease approximately 200 points around the aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Andrew Park)

SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNS) -- Winning the fight against an adversary requires much more than just dropping bombs on targets and taking out key leaders. It requires coordinating the precise movement of necessary supplies to arrive at the right location at the right time; which is why logistics plays such an important role in the war-fighting effort.

Luckily, within the Air Force alone, Air Mobility Command has many aircraft at its disposal to perform logistical missions, but one aircraft in particular proves to be valuable not only for its capacity but also for the speed at which it gets supplies downrange: the C-17 Globemaster III.

C-17s are used frequently in the U.S. Air Force Central Command area of responsibility to get everything from clothing to bombs to a variety of locations around the region.

As a 386th Air Expeditionary Wing tenant unit, the 5th Expeditionary Air Mobility Squadron flies its Globemasters an average of 2,500 sorties a year from the wing’s flightline. These sorties are responsible for moving 180,000 personnel and 80,000 tons of cargo, said Capt. John Goodwin, 5th EAMS Aircraft Maintenance Unit officer in charge.

The 5th EAMS is a geographically separated unit that falls under the 521st Air Mobility Operations Wing at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. They perform their mission not only from the flightline here, but also from a second location.

The squadron consists of more than 60 maintenance personnel who are responsible for ensuring their C-17s remain safe and operational to continue flying these important sorties throughout the AOR. They also fly the same amount of sorties as other expeditionary air mobility squadrons, but with nearly half the typical crew size, Goodwin said.

Since it is such a small crew, the few crew chiefs in the squadron rely on the help of specialists such as electricians and communication-navigation experts to help out with inspections, explained Staff Sgt. Derek Barrett, a 5th EAMS aircraft electrical and environment systems technician.

“If a jet comes down with a specific career field problem like electrical work, we’ll go out there and manage those problems,” Barrett said.

And there are a lot of these inspections. The process of degrading adversaries in Iraq and Afghanistan requires a steady movement of goods to various locations, which means these C-17s and others perform several sorties on a regular basis.

“We could have upwards of eight to 10 sorties or airlift operations for that day that can be coming in or leaving,” Goodwin said. “We could also be doing transient (aircraft), which don’t belong to us but they may be coming into this location for supplies. If anything goes wrong, we provide maintenance for those units that may need it.”

Many of these sorties require landing in austere environments which can cause wear and tear on the aircraft, especially the tires, which usually return with gashes, gouges and other forms of damage, Goodwin said.

Maintaining aircraft that are used at such a high operational tempo can itself be challenging, but coordinating between two different locations can bring another facet of difficulty to managing the spread-out squadron.

“The biggest challenge for me is to make sure that we’re in touch with both locations,” Goodwin said. “We do service C-5 (Galaxies) at one base and C-17s at another, so the diversity in what aircraft we’re servicing can also play a part.”

To combat this challenge, Goodwin said the squadron focuses on maintaining good communication to ensure everyone is on the same page and performing their maintenance safely, which is important as it means the aircraft can fly its mission effectively to get the necessary supplies downrange. This also serves as a point of pride for the 5th EAMS maintainers whose job it is to ensure the aircraft keeps flying these important missions.

“As we see the cargo go out and the passengers, I know that the work that we do will make a direct impact to missions in Iraq and all over the world,” Barrett said.

Engage

Twitter
Keeping us a #ReadyAF by strengthening partnerships w/our allies! 💪 #AimHigh https://t.co/wmMDgLeTd3
Twitter
The Air Force Civil Engineer Center is executing $87 million in critical airfield construction at one of the most i… https://t.co/bRhCVY7X6R
Twitter
Got power? ⚡ This year's energy resilience theme is "Energy Able, Mission Capable." #EnergyAwarenessMonth Follo… https://t.co/yRhhSDQLcT
Twitter
Suicide prevention training is now available for Air Force families as a way to educate spouses, partners, adult fa… https://t.co/68Trsq4AvC
Twitter
Modernizing the force. @NellisAFB was one of the first five @DeptofDefense bases named to host new 5G technology,… https://t.co/aOpGtX2wZq
Twitter
Airmen from Will Rogers Air National Guard Base and @Team_Tinker participated in a Tactical Combat Casualty Care fo… https://t.co/9xKP1H3e3D
Twitter
“Resiliency is readiness & readiness breeds culture.” - @CMSAF_Official Connection to others is a basic human need… https://t.co/s6ktJj7jyX
Twitter
Training to be the best on the worst day. #ReadyAF https://t.co/KGwHLG0oVK
Twitter
.@AFWERX is hosting a "Reimagining Energy for the DOD" challenge, seeking solutions to create the future of resilie… https://t.co/oGKgli3pbd
Twitter
The circumstance the family lived in led to constant emotional turmoil, which boiled over when SrA Zatavia Funchess… https://t.co/wY5rG0rdUr
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: Born & raised in the Philippines, A1C Antonette Joanne Delos Santos of @97AMW, earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering be…
Twitter
The Air Force Civil Engineer Center announced the winners of the 2020 Air Force Design Awards, recognizing seven in… https://t.co/1S5zPl3D7s
Twitter
The #USAF has increased aircraft availability & readiness across three of its bases thanks to new sustainment initi… https://t.co/UKmePcUphL
Twitter
The Stormbreaker! No...not Thor's axe, but it packs just as much punch! The Small Diameter Bomb II Stormbreaker is… https://t.co/QzhepbzuhZ
Twitter
Forward presence The 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, deployed with @USAFCENT, is responsible for delivering… https://t.co/GZEGf9CqqT
Twitter
"Doomsday" simulators are coming! The Air Force has awarded the contract for simulators to train E-4B "Doomsday pl… https://t.co/uOko4RNM04
Twitter
Using a try-before-you-buy strategy, a team within the Digital Directorate, headquartered at @Hanscom_AFB, complete… https://t.co/cE0xPkzNSA
Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: Sports heroes who served. From the basketball court to the baseball diamond and the halls of the U.S. Capitol, find ou…
Twitter
.@AFWERX is announcing the Reimagining Energy Challenge for the @DeptofDefense. https://t.co/3zh486icys
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,294,445
Follow Us