Lockheed-Georgia Co. delivered the first operational Galaxy to the 437th Airlift Wing, Charleston Air Force Base, now known as Joint Base Charleston, S.C., in June l970. C-5s are operated by active-duty, Reserve, and Air National Guard crews. They are currently stationed at Dover AFB, Del.; Travis AFB, Calif.; Lackland AFB, Texas; Martinsburg ANGB, W.Va. and Westover ARB, Mass.
In March 1989, the last of 50 C-5Bs was added to the 76 C-5As in the Air Force’s airlift force structure. The C-5B includes all C-5A improvements as well as more than 100 additional system modifications to improve reliability and maintainability.
Based on a study showing 80 percent of the C-5 airframe service life remaining, AMC began an aggressive program to modernize the C-5 in 1998. The C-5 Avionics Modernization Program included upgrading the avionics to improve communications, navigation and surveillance/air traffic management compliance. The upgrade also added new safety equipment and installed a new autopilot system.
Another part of the C-5 modernization plan is a comprehensive Reliability Enhancement and Re-engining Program (RERP). Fifty-two C-5s (1A, 2C’s, and 49B’s) are scheduled to receive the RERP modification by fiscal 2017. The centerpiece of this program is the General Electric CF6-80C2 (F-138) commercial engine. This engine delivers a 22 percent increase in thrust, a 30 percent shorter take-off roll, has a 58 percent faster climb rate and will allow significantly more cargo to be carried over longer distances. With its new engine and other system upgrades, the RERP modified C-5A/B/Cs become C-5Ms, Super Galaxy. This modernization program will make the C-5 much quieter (FAA Stage 4 Compliant) and enhance aircraft reliability and maintainability, maintain structural and system integrity, reduce cost of ownership and increase operational capability well into the 21st century.