Saluting a Star: Lockheed Martin Celebrates the C-5 Galaxy’s 50th Anniversary

Defence Industry
(From L to R): George Shultz, vice president and general manager, Air Mobility & Maritime Programs, and general manager of Lockheed Martin’s Marietta, Georgia, site (center) hosted Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (4th from right) and Brig. Gen. Kenneth T. Bibb Jr., commander, 618th Air Operations Center (Tanker Airlift Control Center), Scott Air Force Base (5th from left), and other LM officials and visiting dignitaries to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the C-5 program at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company in Marietta, Georgia, on June 26, 2018. Photo by Damien A. Guarineri, Lockheed Martin.

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company celebrated the 50th anniversary of the C-5 Galaxy strategic transport on June 26 at the company’s Marietta, Georgia, facility. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal served as the principal speaker for the event, which was attended by Lockheed Martin employees, elected officials and representatives from the US Air Force.

The C-5 Galaxy strategic transport has been operated solely by the US Air Force since 1970. All production C-5s were built at Lockheed Martin’s Marietta site. The first C-5A rolled out of the Marietta facility on March 2, 1968, at a ceremony with U.S. President Lyndon Johnson in attendance. The first C-5 made its initial flight on June 30, 1968.

A total of 131 C-5s were built between 1968-1975 (81 C-5As) and 1985 and 1989 (50 C‑5Bs). The C-5 is the largest aircraft in the US Air Force inventory, and is capable of carrying two 78-ton M1A1 main battle tanks or helicopters and other large equipment intercontinental distances. Fully loaded, a C-5 has a gross weight of more than 800,000 pounds.

In 2006, the Air Force awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin to modernize 52 C-5 Galaxy through the US Air Force’s Reliability Enhancement and Re-engining Program (RERP).

The C-5 RERP incorporates 70+ improvements and extends the aircraft’s service life to at least 2045. C‑5M modernization provides greatly improved reliability, efficiency, maintainability and availability, while ensuring this critical national strategic airlift resource continues serving the warfighter well into the 21st century.

The final RERP C-5 served as the backdrop for today’s ceremony and it will be delivered to the 439th Airlift Wing, the Air Force Reserve Command unit at Westover Air Reserve Base, Massachusetts, in the coming weeks. C-5Ms are also based at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware; Travis Air Force Base, California; and Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas.