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Alamo Wing steps up schoolhouse operations

Workers install a C-5 Galaxy flight simulator at the Air Force Reserve Command's 433rd Airlift Wing at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. The 356th Airlift Squadron and 733rd Training Squadron joined the wing Feb 6, making it the Air Force's C-5 formal training unit. The wing's C-5 aircraft fly out of adjacent Kelly Field.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Collen McGee)

Workers install a C-5 Galaxy flight simulator at the Air Force Reserve Command's 433rd Airlift Wing at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. The 356th Airlift Squadron and 733rd Training Squadron joined the wing Feb 6, making it the Air Force's C-5 formal training unit. The wing's C-5 aircraft fly out of adjacent Kelly Field. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Collen McGee)

SAN ANTONIO (AFNEWS) -- The Air Force Reserve's 433rd Airlift Wing at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, gained two new squadrons Feb. 6. The wing is home to the Air Force's C-5 Galaxy schoolhouse.

At a formal ceremony, the 356th Airlift Squadron and 733rd Training Squadron joined the Alamo Wing. The wing, from which flies from adjacent Kelly Field, is now the service's C-5 formal training unit.

The two units started operating at the base in November 2006 and Air Force officials activated them Jan. 6. They operated as detachments as they built up their capabilities.

The schoolhouse, which used to be at Altus AFB, Okla., is in session even as workers put the finishing touches on several buildings, said Master Sgt. Collen McGee, a wing public affairs spokesperson.

Training Galaxy crews is a total force effort, she said. There are active duty and Reserve Airmen training Guard, Reserve and active duty C-5 aircrews.

Col. Del Lewis, the 433rd Operations Group commander, officiated the ceremony. He said the Altus operation set a high standard.

"What we want to build here is a true C-5 Galaxy University, to match and exceed the standard," the colonel said.

The airlift squadron once trained C-141 Starlifter aircrews at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. The Air Force reactivated the unit, which transferred its unit flag and patch to the Alamo Wing. The training squadron is new, and though it does not have a previous heritage, it is not without tradition, its new commander said.

"Altus built a proud tradition, and here we are, the Reserve, with help from active-duty (to continue C-5 aircrew training). That's quite a team," Lt. Col John Martino said.

The airlift squadron is responsible for conducting several C-5 training courses. Students earn their initial qualification. The training squadron will maintain administrative control of students.

Currently, students and instructors use a flight simulator housed in another building. But wing officials are installing a new C-5 full-motion simulator and once that equipment is up and running, available training time will double, Sergeant McGee said.

Instructors maintain their certification by flying with the wing's operations flying unit, the 68th Airlift Squadron.

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