DAFB Gets New C-5M, Completes Its Fleet of the Aircraft - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

DAFB Gets New C-5M, Completes Its Fleet of the Aircraft

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DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - Wednesday afternoon Dover Air Force Base became the US air force's first base to have a complete fleet of C-5M aircraft.

The base mainly operates two kinds of heavy-lifting planes - the C-17 and the C-5m. The massive C-5M is the larger of the two.

A new C-5M arrived at Dover AFB around 1:30 in the afternoon. It made Dover home to 18 C-5M - a complete fleet.

The base has been flying C-5 for decades. In 2009 Dover got its first C-5M. The planes are a significantly upgraded version of the original.

"They replaced the engines," said Lt. Gen. Brooks Bash, vice commander, Air Mobility Command, Scott AFB. "So, it has about 22 percent more thrust, which gives it incredible fuel economy. That allows it to fly distances of 6,000-7,000 miles with a lot of cargo. That means it can fly from here to Afghanistan direct."

C-5M are more modern in a number of other ways, too.

Lt. Gen. Bash officially delivered this plane to Dover. That included handing off the key its new crew chief.

"It's definitely an honor," said SrA. Bradley Harris. "Something this big, to say that I'm fully responsible for it, it's something to be said for someone in my position."

Last month the Pentagon announced $75 billion in proposed cuts. Part of the proposal to get there would mean as many as six of Dover's C-5M could be in backup inventory, rather than active inventory.

"We'll still use those airplanes," said Col. Randy Huiss, vice commander, Dover AFB. "We won't mothball and park them. What it allows us to do is use the backup aircraft when any of the primary aircraft are in for heavy maintenance."

Col. Huiss says the base could reduce active personnel by 175 over time if the changes do happen.

For now, that's just a proposal. And, in the meantime, the base is excited to be welcoming its newest family member.

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