News | Aug. 6, 2018

DCMA LM Marietta celebrates 50-year milestone of C-5

By Tracey Johnson DCMA Lockheed Martin Marietta

Defense Contract Management Agency Lockheed Martin Marietta recently celebrated the 50-year milestone of the C-5 Galaxy and the last delivery of the C-5M Reliability Enhancement and Re-engining Program, also known as RERP.

It was standing room only for the hundreds in attendance on June 26, including current and former Lockheed Martin employees, Air Force personnel, and local and state officials, led by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal.

The purpose of the occasion was to honor the 50-year legacy of the C-5 and to celebrate the modification completion of the final C-5M Super Galaxy. The RERP is a $4.9 billion C-5 modernization effort that was awarded to Lockheed Martin in December 2001 and will end in December of this year.

The final modernized C-5M delivery aircraft was used as the backdrop for the event, held in the same location the first C-5A Galaxy rolled off the production line in 1968. A week after the ceremony, on Aug. 2, the display aircraft was delivered to the 439th Airlift Wing at Westover Air Reserve Base, Massachusetts. The Air Force now has 52 C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft in its inventory.

The first C-5A was delivered to the 437th Military Airlift Wing at Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina, in 1970. The base’s C-5s would later be transferred to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to perform an airlift mission to Southeast Asia. The aircraft has been involved in numerous missions since then, including Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom.

“The C-5M Super Galaxy modernization will keep this national asset serving for a long time,” said Air Force Col. Lance French, DCMA LM Marietta’s commander. “It provides unmatched capabilities that allow our Air Force to project aid or forces anywhere in the world with just a few hours’ notice. It’s bittersweet to see the last aircraft go, but I am so proud of the work the men and women of DCMA have done over the years to get these aircraft back to the warfighter.”

Most people who attended the event did not know that former President Lyndon B. Johnson visited the facility in 1968 when the first C-5 rolled out of the hangar. During the recent ceremony, photographs were shown of the president holding his 9-month-old grandson, Lyndon Nugent.

Nugent was a guest at the recent event, and he gave credit to those who designed, built, and continue to maintain the aircraft. Nugent said that while serving in the Army years ago, he performed a parachute jump from the C-5 during a personnel airdrop training mission.

Air Force Lt. Col. Fred Gallegos, a pilot and DCMA LM Marietta’s chief of C-5 flight operations, said he is proud to fly the aircraft.

“As with any aircraft modernization program, there were challenges along the way, but I truly believe that current and future aircrews will be pleased with the increased capabilities of the C-5M Super Galaxy,” he said. “In fact, all of our DCMA C-5M aircrew members stationed at Marietta have had the privilege to fly operational missions and personally witness what the aircraft can do. They are extremely proud to be part of the C-5 legacy.”

The DCMA military and civilian personnel at LM Marietta are responsible for approximately 500 contracts valued in excess of $30 billion, providing contractual oversight on the C-130J Hercules; P-3 Orion wing kit; F-22 Raptor coating repair; and the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter center wing, horizontal and vertical stabilizer production.