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Military & Veterans' Issues

433rd Airlift Wing Gets First C-5M Super Galaxy Cargo Plane

The 433rd Airlift Wing celebrated the receipt of its first C-5M Super Galaxy Aircraft, the military’s largest airplane, in a transfer ceremony on Friday at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.

The C-5A was first used in the 1960s and in San Antonio since the 1980s.

Lackland is one of only a few airports in the world large enough to land the giant cargo ships. The Air Force says the C-5A’s bones are still good, and its vast cargo compartment is still in demand. So the enormous jet is being brought into the 21st Century with the new C-5M model.

Ben Faske, Public Affairs Officer for the 433rd, says this first one that arrived at Lackland and to be assigned to the 433rd is named, 'The City of San Antonio.'

"I think the first 'A' Model that we received was called the same thing, so I think it's fitting that we continue that tradition on the 'M' Model now," he said. 

The C-5s, described as being as long as a football field and as tall as a six-story building, have been used to haul tons of fighting vehicles and supplies and thousands of troops in and out of fighting theaters and natural disaster locations throughout the world.

The new 'M' model features an overhauled engine that produces 50,000 pounds of thrust, a 22 percent increase. Its cruise altitude is 38 percent higher now, and it can get there faster. Faske says it also is Stage IV noise compliant.

"You can tell a considerable difference. Hearing the 'A' model fly over - it's loud - coming in low, coming in to land. But the 'M' model is really silent. It's amazing how silent it is for such a large aircraft -- the second largest aircraft in the world."

The C-5M is also in service for overseas missions among the active-duty Air Force, but the 433rd in San Antonio is the first reserve unit to receive the new high-tech plane.

The 433rd Airlift Wing in San Antonio is the reserve’s only formal training unit for initial and advanced C-5M flight qualification for the total force, including the Reserve, National Guard and Active Duty.