In January, a C-5M transport aircraft flew to Iraq, a historic first for the new version of the massive cargo hauler. The aircraft not only delivered more than 85,000 pounds of equipment on short notice, but also arrived back at Dover AFB, Del., well ahead of schedule. “It’s satisfying to get the aircraft into the fight,” said Lt. Col. Mike Semo, C-5M program office chief and pilot with Air Force Reserve Command’s 709th Airlift Squadron at Dover. The Air Force has finished C-5M operational test and evaluation (See C-5M Operational Testing Concludes). It is transitioning the first of its 52 planned C-5Ms into normal operations. Once C-5M aircraft are cleared for direct delivery, they will be able to fly straight from Dover to Iraq without stopping en route to refuel. Still to come: the first C-5M mission to Afghanistan. (Dover report by SSgt. Chad Padgett)
The Air Force isn’t giving up on its long-frustrated efforts to retire older aircraft, as the department’s leader continues to talk with lawmakers about plans to free up funds for its modernization efforts, Undersecretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones said Nov. 30.