HomeNewsArticle Display

Travis C-5M delivers SBIRS GEO Flight 3 satellite

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFNS) -- A C-5M Super Galaxy assisted in the completion of a major milestone for the Air Force’s Space Based Infrared Systems program, successfully delivering a geosynchronous Earth orbit Flight 3 satellite to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, Aug. 2.

The 22nd Airlift Squadron, one of the only operational Air Force units tasked with transporting space-related cargo, completed the cross-country flight after uploading the satellite at Moffett Federal Airfield.

“Aside from presidential support and contingency operations, this is one of the highest priority missions we are tasked with,” said 1st Lt. Jeremy Dunbar, a 22nd AS pilot and co-pilot on the mission.

Squadron officials said delivery the SBRIS GEO Flight 3 was conducted on a strict timeline ensuring the projected launch date remained uncompromised.

To comply with the timeline, the 22nd AS strategically placed personnel at both departure and arrival locations, where squadron loadmasters efficiently assisted Lockheed Martin officials with uploading and downloading operations – a task typically requiring more than double the amount of time needed for standard cargo loading due to the sensitive equipment.

Although Travis Air Force Base normally employs its specially modified C-5M Space Cargo Modification airframe for transporting satellites, the C-5M Super Galaxy was able to successfully accommodate the SBIRS GEO Flight 3 satellite’s container. The container used for transportation was a refurbished version of the same container used to transport the Hubble Space Telescope.

Capt. Corey Curtis, a 22nd AS pilot and aircraft commander of the mission, explained that during flight the aircrew must maintain stringent parameters to ensure safe transport of the sensitive satellite valued at $1.2 billion.

“There are certain parameters that we have to keep the satellite within while inside the cargo bay,” Curtis said. “Primarily it’s about keeping the flight and landing as smooth as possible and ensuring that we stay within the maximum allowable gravitational limits that the satellite can handle.”

Additionally, Curtis complimented the efforts of the unit’s loadmasters for ensuring limitations were not exceeded in terms of center of gravity.

“Our loadmasters did a fantastic job,” he said. “The satellite abnormally changed our center of gravity to one we don’t normally fly with, but our loadmasters kept everything within limits making sure the cargo was delivered safely, efficiently and without damage.”

According to a recent Air Force press release, the delivery of SBIRS GEO Flight 3 sets the path for final checkout of the space vehicle before launch.

“GEO Flight 3 delivery and launch marks a significant milestone in fulfilling our commitment to the missile-warning community, missile defense and the intelligence community, it’s an important asset for the warfighter and will be employed for years to come,” stated Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, the Space and Missile Systems Center commander and Air Force program executive officer for space, within the release.

“Safe transport of the SBIRS satellite was paramount and the total government and contractor team worked tirelessly to ensure mission success,” Greaves added.

The SBIRS constellation is designed to replace the legacy Defense Support Program satellite constellation. SBIRS will continue to provide significantly enhanced capabilities to support missile warning, missile defenses, battlespace awareness and technical intelligence missions.

The satellite launch is scheduled for early October.


Facebook Twitter
Hello Houston, Texas! SrA Myesha Crosby tells us that there is no other city like Houston. Well, we are here to see… https://t.co/L17T5QH1Oo
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Our Cyber #Airmen take the fight to the enemy in #cyberspace, while keeping us connected w/ each other & our loved one…
RT @ClemsonFB: Jalen Williams || Transferring passion for service and enthusiasm to impacting the world through purposeful employment! Cong…
Great job @AETCommand hosting the @realchefrush. #USAF may have garnered a new recruit. https://t.co/W0RbJ9Fvrz
RT @AstroHague: Can’t wait to showcase our “Airmen in Space” @SpaceCenterHou on Oct. 16, 11:00 a.m. CDT! If you can’t join us in person, tu…
RT @AETCommand: Happy #TankerTuesday! #DYK the KC-135 Stratotanker provides the core aerial refueling capability for the @usairforce & pro…
.@AETCommand's 23rd Flying Training Squadron is transforming the #pilot learning environment, developing vertical-l… https://t.co/I03WAOxZe8
RT @AF_Academy: We're incredibly excited and honored to host the Air Force's 12 Outstanding Airmen over the next few days! 🇺🇸 https://t.co/…
RT @ArmedwScience: #EllsworthAFB is looking for more innovative ways to expand the lifespan of its aircraft. Engineers are using a new deve…
RT @DeptofDefense: .@usairforce loadmasters perform a combat cargo offload qualification as a part of exercise #ThracianFall19 at Cheshnegi…
RT @AirmanMagazine: .@GenDaveGoldfein explains the @usairforce's way-ahead in advanced battle management: Multi-Domain Command and Control.…
Houston -- we are landing October 15 - 17. Cant wait to see what you have to show us! @AggieNetworkhttps://t.co/f3fDo0ntAZ
.@GenDaveGoldfein shares how success in “the future fight” relies on three key components. Find out what they are h… https://t.co/4Hhp3lW1pV
RT @DeptofDefense: “Without us, you live in the dark!” Electricity keeps the mission going at @RAFMildenhall, England. Meet one of the air…
RT @AFSpace: @AirWarCollege faculty members met w/ @US_SpaceCom & AFSPC senior leaders last week. The faculty learned about the challenges…
KC-135 Stratotankers provide the Air Force with global strike & rapid mobility. Like any of our assets we train &… https://t.co/zjATXCfQlN
RT @AF_Falcons: Maybe it will snow in February for the game... Colorado: no need to wait https://t.co/vq7KPsiITx
Cyber security is everyone's responsibility. First step, #BeCyberSmart. https://t.co/mVZr4nJoJK
“There have been some great Airmen, both military and civilian, at Tyndall AFB before, during and after the storm.… https://t.co/EiEga9ur0N