The West Virginia Air National Guard’s 167th Airlift Wing completed its final C-5 isochronal inspection on March 6, wrapping up an eight-year mission that was the first of its kind in the Air Force, according to a March 10 wing release. The wing served as one of three regional isochronal inspection hubs, along with Dover AFB, Del., and Westover ARB, Mass., conducting preventative maintenance on the massive cargo aircraft every 420 days. “We started this process from scratch,” said MSgt. James Buckley, a 167th isochronal coordinator. “We only had the C-5s for about a year when we received the regional isochronal mission … we had to build all that up ourselves with a small group of people.” The Air Force is retiring many of its older C-5s and the 167th is transitioning its fleet to the C-17 Globemaster III, states the release. In its eight years as a regional hub, the inspection team, which was mostly comprised of members of the 167th Maintenance Group, averaged a 39-day inspection cycle per aircraft, having completed a total of 63 aircraft from eight different bases, states the release.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.