A massive flex-mobilization of USAF’s C-5 Galaxy fleet over the next week will enable US Transportation Command planners to improve rapid airlift response to crises and contingencies. Forty-one C-5s—18 active duty and 23 Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command aircraft—are slated to fly surge capacity operations supporting combatant commands under close watch by evaluators for five days starting Oct. 17. “The 41 daily missions will more than double the 18 we normally execute,” said Maj. Sandy Thompson lead planner for 18th Air Force (Air Forces Transportation) at Scott AFB, Ill. Since 2007, the highest single-day C-5 sortie count stands at 33. Orchestrated by Scott’s 618th Air Operations Center, this mobilization effort will help to “identify the requirements for surging our air mobility forces to support the strategic maneuver capability our nation needs,” stressed Marine Maj. Sidney Welch, TRANSCOM’s exercise joint planning leader. (Scott report by Maj. Michael Meridith)
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.