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'Super Galaxy' fleet complete at Dover

The 18th C-5M Super Galaxy is delivered to Dover Air Force Base, Del., April 2, 2014. The aircraft completes the fleet of C-5M Super Galaxies at Dover AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class William Johnson)

The 18th C-5M Super Galaxy is delivered to Dover Air Force Base, Del., April 2, 2014. The aircraft completes the fleet of C-5M Super Galaxies at Dover AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class William Johnson)

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. (AFNS) -- From the Galaxy to Super Galaxy, Dover's armada of C-5M Super Galaxies is finally complete.

Lt. Gen. Brooks L. Bash, Air Mobility Command vice commander, delivered its 18th and final C-5M Super Galaxy, tail number 87-0040, April 2, at 1:30 p.m., here.

"We are very excited to receive our final C-5M Super Galaxy," said Col. Rick Moore, 436th Airlift Wing commander. "Completing our fleet marks a significant milestone for Team Dover and for the C-5M program."

A combined aircrew from the 9th and 709th Airlift Squadrons departed Tuesday April 1, for Dobbins Air Force Base, Ga., to pick up the aircraft and fly it to Dover the next day.

Bash ceremonially handed the aircraft's key to Senior Airman Bradley Harris, 436th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron dedicated crew chief for 87-0040. This was followed by a small reception to celebrate the arrival of 87-0040 and the completion of Dover's C-5M Super Galaxy fleet.

"It's an honor; this position is usually given to a staff or technical sergeant," said Harris. "To be selected as a senior airman definitely means a lot to me. I'm pretty honored to be selected."

The first C-5M Super Galaxy was delivered to Dover AFB in February 2009, and since then, newly upgraded C-5M after C-5M have been delivered like clockwork. Originally a C-5B Galaxy, 87-0040 underwent upgrades at Lockheed Martin Corporation in Marietta, Ga. With the completion of these upgrades, it will now be designated as a C-5M Super Galaxy.

The C-5 series of aircraft have been in service for over 40 years, and with these upgrades they will be able to continue their service for the next 40 years. With the addition of the new Reliability Enhancement and Re-engining Program (RERP), 87-0040 was re-equipped with four General Electric Aviation CF6-80C2 engines, a modernized digital cockpit, communications, enhanced navigation and safety equipment, and an all-weather flight control system.

"The C-5M met initial operations capabilities not too long ago," said Bash. "Now this one rounds out Dover Air Force Base's capabilities. This gives our nation enormous capabilities for airlift, which is absolutely needed to support our national war plans."

Compared to the C-5 Galaxies, the C-5M Super Galaxies have a greater dependability, efficiency, maintainability, and accessibility. This has dropped the total operating costs of the heavy strategic lift aircraft.

The Galaxy to Super Galaxy modernization will ensure that the U.S. Air Force will continue to possess the most preeminent airlift capabilities in the world.

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