HomeNewsArticle Display

Keeping the C-5 fleet in check

A C-5M Super Galaxy undergoes a Maintenance Steering Group-3 Major inspection Dec. 2, 2015, in the isochronal dock of the 436th Maintenance Squadron at Dover Air Force Base, Del. A Major ISO inspection takes approximately 55 days and more than 100 maintainers can be working on the aircraft at any given time. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman William Johnson)

A C-5M Super Galaxy undergoes a Maintenance Steering Group-3 Major inspection Dec. 2, 2015, in the isochronal dock of the 436th Maintenance Squadron at Dover Air Force Base, Del. A Major ISO inspection takes approximately 55 days and more than 100 maintainers can be working on the aircraft at any given time. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman William Johnson)

Airman 1st Class Jesse Gordon, a 436th Maintenance Squadron crew chief, removes coder pins from an aero seal on a C-5M Super Galaxy during a Maintenance Steering Group-3 Major inspection Dec. 2, 2015, in the isochronal dock at Dover Air Force Base, Del. The ISO dock at Dover AFB is the only maintenance dock in the Air Force capable of performing MSG-3 inspections of C-5 aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman William Johnson)

Airman 1st Class Jesse Gordon, a 436th Maintenance Squadron crew chief, removes coder pins from an aero seal on a C-5M Super Galaxy during a Maintenance Steering Group-3 Major inspection Dec. 2, 2015, in the isochronal dock at Dover Air Force Base, Del. The ISO dock at Dover AFB is the only maintenance dock in the Air Force capable of performing MSG-3 inspections of C-5 aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman William Johnson)

Staff Sgt. Tim Walker, a 436th Maintenance Squadron gear area lead, uses a Johnson Bar to remove a stripped screw from an auxiliary power unit exhaust duct fairing panel from a C-5M Super Galaxy as it undergoes a Maintenance Steering Group-3 Major inspection in a isochronal dock at Dover Air Force Base, Del., Dec. 2, 2015. The entire exhaust duct work was replaced during the inspection. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman William Johnson)

Staff Sgt. Tim Walker, a 436th Maintenance Squadron gear area lead, uses a Johnson Bar to remove a stripped screw from an auxiliary power unit exhaust duct fairing panel from a C-5M Super Galaxy as it undergoes a Maintenance Steering Group-3 Major inspection in a isochronal dock at Dover Air Force Base, Del., Dec. 2, 2015. The entire exhaust duct work was replaced during the inspection. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman William Johnson)

Maintainers from the 436th Maintenance Squadron Isochronal Dock remove an aft load complex center door from a C-5M Super Galaxy during a Maintenance Steering Group-3 Major inspection Dec. 2, 2015, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. Once removed, sheet metal workers inspect the door for any discrepancies or hazards associated with the door and connecting pieces. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman William Johnson)

Maintainers from the 436th Maintenance Squadron Isochronal Dock remove an aft load complex center door from a C-5M Super Galaxy during a Maintenance Steering Group-3 Major inspection Dec. 2, 2015, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. Once removed, sheet metal workers inspect the door for any discrepancies or hazards associated with the door and connecting pieces. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman William Johnson)

Dents on a C-5M Super Galaxy are circled and measured while the aircraft undergoes a MSG-3 Major inspection Dec. 2, 2015, in a isochronal dock at Dover Air Force Base, Del. Once identified, dents are patched and repaired during the inspection. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman William Johnson)

Dents on a C-5M Super Galaxy are circled and measured while the aircraft undergoes a MSG-3 Major inspection Dec. 2, 2015, in a isochronal dock at Dover Air Force Base, Del. Once identified, dents are patched and repaired during the inspection. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman William Johnson)

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. (AFNS) -- The 436th Maintenance Squadron Isochronal Maintenance Dock helps keep the largest aircraft in the Air Force inventory, the C-5 Galaxy, in the air to deliver cargo, combat equipment and humanitarian relief supplies to anywhere in the world whenever called upon.

In an effort to maximize the lifespan of the C-5 fleet, the aircraft goes through a series of inspections that vary in recurrence and depth: preflight, home-station check, Maintenance Steering Group-3 Minor, MSG-3 Major and Programmed Depot Maintenance.

All C-5 aircraft in the inventory undergo an eight-year scheduled maintenance timeline through the MSG-3 process. The cycle for these inspections goes as such: PDM, Minor ISO, Major ISO, Minor ISO then starting back at PDM. Each inspection is two years apart and continues for the lifecycle of the weapon system. Dover Air Force Base has the only facility in the Air Force that is able to conduct Major ISO inspections.

The MSG-3 Major inspection takes approximately 55 days, depending on what services and repairs the aircraft needs. Maj. James Wall, the 436th MXS commander, said at the 55-day rate the ISO dock is able to turn out nine aircraft a year, which keeps the entire C-5 fleet on its eight year maintenance cycle.

During an ISO inspection, aircraft maintainers strip down the C-5 looking for any deficiencies, faults, cracks or any other problem in every system of the aircraft.

First Lt. J. Spada, the 436th MXS maintenance flight commander, said it is critical that all maintenance is performed right the first time during a major-level inspection. If something is missed during a major-level inspection, the aircraft could suffer until it undergoes another major- or depot-level inspection.

"The biggest difference between a major and a minor inspection is the amount of depot-level work that is done during the major inspection," Spada said. "We also check up on critical systems that have a high-failure rate and perform a lot of preventative maintenance that has shown, if done in a four-year interval, it will help the aircraft become more reliable as it progresses on."

With so much riding on these major inspections, there is little to no room for error. Wall said it takes a special type of maintainer to work in the one-of-a-kind facility.

"As far as C-5s go, the most industrialized maintenance facility in the Air Force I would argue is the ISO dock here," Wall said. "The technicians that conduct the Major ISO inspections are of a higher caliber maintainer and they have to be because of the environment that they are working in."

Tech. Sgt. Kevin Taylor, 436th MXS ISO dock floor chief, is one of those elite maintainers and helps recruit Airmen to work in the ISO dock. Taylor said typically C-5 crew chiefs are recruited for the job, but there are a host of other specialties that Airmen fill.

"There is more complicated maintenance in a major inspection than you'll find anywhere else at a field-level facility," Taylor said. "Because of the technical difficulties that we see during a Major ISO, we have to vet and obtain only the best specialists and crew chiefs to work in this dock."

Approximately 30 Airmen from the 436th MXS have also been assigned to work at the 439th Airlift Wing at Westover Air Reserve Base, Massachusetts. The integration of the two wings began in 2008 as a measure to assist the 439th MXS with Minor ISO inspections of the entire Air Force's C-5 fleet.

"Prior to 2008, the average Westover Minor ISO inspection took 40-plus days to accomplish," said Master Sgt. Peter Michaud, the 436th MXS Operation Location Alpha detachment chief. "With the integration of the 436th MXS OLA, 439th MXS and the advent of the MSG-3 process, the ISO was reduced by 26 days down to an 18 day average."

With recent upgrades to the C-5M Super Galaxy, the Air Force projects having C-5s in their fleet beyond 2040. However, it will be the responsibility of the Airmen in the 436th MXS ISO dock to ensure the C-5s see that date.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @thejointstaff: Watch today's change of responsibility ceremony, hosted by #GenMilley, live @ 10 a.m. EST on Twitter. @SEAC_Troxell wil…
RT @HQ_AFMC: 📽️We're back to the @Afresearchlab for Day 10 of #24DaysAFMC. This year they tested a state-of-the-art rocket #engine preburne…
RT @16AF_AFCYBER: The holiday season is a prime time for online thieves to take advantage of weaknesses in shoppers' devices to extract per…
RT @USAFCENT: ALWAYS READY | Members of the 823d Expeditionary Base Defense Squadron test their combat life-saving skills during a medical…
Nearly 10,000 participants from around the world took part in the 2019 Military World Games in Wuhan, China. And… https://t.co/CRYacyFtEJ
Ever heard of the rule of 0-0-1-3? No. Well it means to have zero alcohol if you're underage, zero drinks if you're… https://t.co/7bNRnhYuWS
RT @HQ_AFMC: #Readiness was on display by our @AFResearchLab teams during a live-virtual-constructive training simulation, enabling #Airmen…
RT @AFWERX: We can't wait for 2020: The @USAirForce Advanced Manufacturing Olympics is slated for July 8-9 in Salt Lake City & will bring t…
RT @AirNatlGuard: “The Silver Flag training sites provide our Airmen with real-world scenarios to reinforce our Air Force Specialty Code sk…
RT @US_TRANSCOM: Watch a @usairforce KC-10A refuel, and be refueled during same mission in support of @CJTFOIR. #Togetherwdeliver #NKAWTG #…
RT @AETCommand: Transforming the way we learn with technology is one of our key priorities here in the First Command! Check out the photos…
RT @AirNatlGuard: This week, @ChiefNGB visited the @PRNationalGuard at Muñiz Air National Guard Base to meet with senior leaders and discus…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: YOU are the most important reason for our mission success. Take care of each other & preserve the connections & commun…
RT @AirmanMagazine: When it comes to acquisitions, the @usairforce has the need for speed. Equipping Airmen with the best technology start…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: A distinct privilege to help unveil the F-117 exhibit, establishing this remarkable aircraft in its rightful place in…
RT @AirNatlGuard: “For me personally, the CAP and Air Guard go hand in hand. When I look back at any state active duty or state support we…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Honored to participate on a panel with my fellow Service Chiefs at the @ReaganInstitute. May our leaders of today & th…
It was just a childhood dream but it crescendoed into this #Airman becoming the only woman in the #AirForce to both… https://t.co/vzGjPe7Vri