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First Reserve-owned C-5M lands at Alamo Wing

Col. Thomas K. Smith Jr., 433rd Airlift Wing commander, addresses the crowd during the C-5M Super Galaxy transfer ceremony June 17, 2016 along the flight line of Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. Colonel Smith boarded the aircraft bound for the ceremony from Stewart Air National Guard Base, New York, that morning. It is the only C-5M to be bestowed as "The City of San Antonio." (U.S. Air Force photo by Benjamin Faske)

Col. Thomas K. Smith Jr., 433rd Airlift Wing commander, addresses the crowd during the C-5M Super Galaxy transfer ceremony June 17, 2016 along the flight line of Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. Colonel Smith boarded the aircraft bound for the ceremony from Stewart Air National Guard Base, New York, that morning. It is the only C-5M to be bestowed as "The City of San Antonio." (U.S. Air Force photo by Benjamin Faske)

San Antonio City Council member Rey Saldana, District 4, reads a proclamation on behalf of the city to the 433rd Airlift Wing welcoming its first C-5M Super Galaxy June 17, 2016 during the transfer ceremony along the flight line at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. The 433rd AW will receive nine C-5M models which is the result of a two-phase modernization effort that will improve fuel savings, climb rate, payload capability, and noise reduction.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Benjamin Faske)

San Antonio City Council member Rey Saldana, District 4, reads a proclamation on behalf of the city to the 433rd Airlift Wing welcoming its first C-5M Super Galaxy June 17, 2016 during the transfer ceremony along the flight line at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. The 433rd AW will receive nine C-5M models which is the result of a two-phase modernization effort that will improve fuel savings, climb rate, payload capability, and noise reduction. (U.S. Air Force photo by Benjamin Faske)

Maj. Gen. John C. Flournoy Jr., 4th Air Force commander, followed by Col. Thomas K. Smith Jr., 433rd AW commander, depart the Alamo Wing's first C-5M Super Galaxy, bestowed "The City of San Antonio" June 17, 2016 at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. The crew flew the maiden flight from Stewart Air National Guard Base, New York, earlier that day before their arrival at the official aircraft transfer ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo by Benjamin Faske)

Maj. Gen. John C. Flournoy Jr., 4th Air Force commander, followed by Col. Thomas K. Smith Jr., 433rd AW commander, depart the Alamo Wing's first C-5M Super Galaxy, bestowed "The City of San Antonio" June 17, 2016 at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. The crew flew the maiden flight from Stewart Air National Guard Base, New York, earlier that day before their arrival at the official aircraft transfer ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo by Benjamin Faske)

Maj. Gen. John C. Flournoy Jr., 4th Air Force commander, presents Tech. Sgt. David Ponce, 433rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, with the ceremonial key to the first C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft, bestowed "The City of San Antonio" June 17, 2016 at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. The 433rd AW will receive nine C-5M models which is the result of a two-phase modernization effort that will improve fuel savings, climb rate, payload capability, and noise reduction. (U.S. Air Force photo by Benjamin Faske)

Maj. Gen. John C. Flournoy Jr., 4th Air Force commander, presents Tech. Sgt. David Ponce, 433rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, with the ceremonial key to the first C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft, bestowed "The City of San Antonio" June 17, 2016 at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. The 433rd AW will receive nine C-5M models which is the result of a two-phase modernization effort that will improve fuel savings, climb rate, payload capability, and noise reduction. (U.S. Air Force photo by Benjamin Faske)

Retired Gen. Thomas M. Ryan, former Military Airlift Command commander, poses for a photo in the cockpit of the new C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft, bestowed "The City of San Antonio" June 17, 2016 at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. Ryan piloted the Alamo Wing's first C-5A Galaxy aircraft from Norton Air Force Base, California, to Kelly Air Force Base, Texas, on Nov. 30, 1984. The wing's first C-5A Galaxy of 32 years ago was also bestowed "The City of San Antonio," in a similar ceremony.(U.S. Air Force photo by Benjamin Faske)

Retired Gen. Thomas M. Ryan, former Military Airlift Command commander, poses for a photo in the cockpit of the new C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft, bestowed "The City of San Antonio" June 17, 2016 at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. Ryan piloted the Alamo Wing's first C-5A Galaxy aircraft from Norton Air Force Base, California, to Kelly Air Force Base, Texas, on Nov. 30, 1984. The wing's first C-5A Galaxy of 32 years ago was also bestowed "The City of San Antonio," in a similar ceremony.(U.S. Air Force photo by Benjamin Faske)

The 433rd Airlift Wing receives its first C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft, bestowed "The City of San Antonio," during a  transfer ceremony June 17, 2016 at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. Maj. Gen. John C. Flournoy Jr., 4th Air Force commander, and Col. Thomas K. Smith Jr., 433rd AW commander, piloted the maiden flight of the first C-5M from Stewart National Guard Base, New York, that morning. The 433rd AW will receive nine C-5M models by late 2018, which is the result of a two-phase modernization effort that will improve fuel savings, climb rate, payload capability, and noise reduction. (U.S. Air Force photo by Benjamin Faske)

The 433rd Airlift Wing receives its first C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft, bestowed "The City of San Antonio," during a transfer ceremony June 17, 2016 at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. Maj. Gen. John C. Flournoy Jr., 4th Air Force commander, and Col. Thomas K. Smith Jr., 433rd AW commander, piloted the maiden flight of the first C-5M from Stewart National Guard Base, New York, that morning. The 433rd AW will receive nine C-5M models by late 2018, which is the result of a two-phase modernization effort that will improve fuel savings, climb rate, payload capability, and noise reduction. (U.S. Air Force photo by Benjamin Faske)

Family members and invited guests walk onto the flight line to tour the 433rd Airlift Wing's first C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft, bestowed "The City of San Antonio," June 17, 2016 after the transfer ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. The 433rd AW will receive nine C-5M models by late 2018, which is the result of a two-phase modernization effort that will improve fuel savings, climb rate, payload capability, and noise reduction.(U.S. Air Force photo by Benjamin Faske)

Family members and invited guests walk onto the flight line to tour the 433rd Airlift Wing's first C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft, bestowed "The City of San Antonio," June 17, 2016 after the transfer ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. The 433rd AW will receive nine C-5M models by late 2018, which is the result of a two-phase modernization effort that will improve fuel savings, climb rate, payload capability, and noise reduction.(U.S. Air Force photo by Benjamin Faske)

Maj. Gen. John Flournoy, 4th Air Force commander, shakes hands with Col. David Scott, 433rd Airlift Wing vice commander, after departing the Alamo Wing's first C-5M Super Galaxy, bestowed "The City of San Antonio" June 17, 2016 at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. In total, the 433rd AW will receive nine C-5M models by late 2018, which is the result of a two-phase modernization effort that will improve fuel savings, climb rate, payload capability, and noise reduction.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Benjamin Faske)

Maj. Gen. John Flournoy, 4th Air Force commander, shakes hands with Col. David Scott, 433rd Airlift Wing vice commander, after departing the Alamo Wing's first C-5M Super Galaxy, bestowed "The City of San Antonio" June 17, 2016 at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. In total, the 433rd AW will receive nine C-5M models by late 2018, which is the result of a two-phase modernization effort that will improve fuel savings, climb rate, payload capability, and noise reduction. (U.S. Air Force photo by Benjamin Faske)

Aircrew from the 433rd Airlift Wing and Lockheed Martin representatives pose for a photo after the maiden flight of the first C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft, "The City of San Antonio" to be received by the Air Force Reserve Command June 17, 2016 at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. The 433rd AW will receive a total of nine C-5M models which is the result of a two-phase modernization effort that will improve fuel savings, climb rate, payload capability, and noise reduction. (U.S. Air Force photo/Benjamin Faske)

Aircrew from the 433rd Airlift Wing and Lockheed Martin representatives pose for a photo after the maiden flight of the first C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft, "The City of San Antonio" to be received by the Air Force Reserve Command June 17, 2016 at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. The 433rd AW will receive a total of nine C-5M models which is the result of a two-phase modernization effort that will improve fuel savings, climb rate, payload capability, and noise reduction. (U.S. Air Force photo/Benjamin Faske)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas --

The saying “history repeats itself” has become all too familiar to the 433rd Airlift Wing, as hundreds of Airmen and distinguished guests gathered along the flight line here June 17 to welcome the Alamo Wing’s first official C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft, bestowed “The City of San Antonio.” The 433rd AW is the first Air Force Reserve wing to receive Lockheed Martin’s modernized strategic airlifter.

Flashback 32 years ago, on Dec. 1, 1984, a similar crowd gathered at Kelly Air Force Base, Texas, as the wing, then the 433rd Tactical Airlift Wing, welcomed its predecessor, the first C-5A Galaxy, also named “The City of San Antonio” into the Air Force Reserve Command’s inventory.

“This is a remarkable day for the 433rd Airlift Wing,” said Maj. Gen. John C. Flournoy Jr., 4th Air Force commander, who piloted the aircraft to Lackland. “The opportunity to take an older aircraft and bring it up to today’s standards for aviation is absolutely phenomenal. This was my first-time landing in a C-5M and let me tell you it flies like a dream. It’s absolutely a wonderful piece of modern technology in that cockpit, and it felt great!”

This particular C-5M is the first of nine aircraft that will make up the Alamo Wing’s fleet by late 2018.

Distinguished guest, Tony Frese, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company Air Mobility and Maritime Missions vice president, noted that the aircraft, produced by Lockheed Martin, is superior to its predecessor, the C-5A, in every way.”    

“The biggest step up the C-5M brings are the upgraded engines, which provide not only, about 22 percent improved thrust, but up to 20 percent more fuel efficiency,” he said. “That converts into over 20 percent more range for this aircraft, much shorter takeoff distances, much faster time, but also more reliability. Also, the engines are 10 times more reliable than the previous version’s engines. However, what most people don’t realize is the other 70 improvements that have been made to other systems of the aircraft, and they really bring together the significant reliability of this aircraft.”

Tech. Sgt. David Ponce, 433rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron C-5M crew chief, who accepted the ceremonial key to the aircraft, said he is ready to get to work on the wing’s first C-5M. “We’re really excited to get our hands on our own C-5Ms,” said the 16-year airlift aircraft maintenance technician. “We’ve been working on what we call ‘loaners’ from Dover and Travis (Air Force Bases), and now we have our first one. I love my job as a dedicated crew chief and knowing that the maintenance we provide on the aircraft makes a difference.”

Performance abilities aside, one thing both the 1984 C-5A, tail number 69-0016, and today’s modernized C-5M, tail number 70027, have in common is their unique “City of San Antonio” distinction. They are the only two C-5s to be bestowed “The City of San Antonio,” a testament to the solid relationship between the military and San Antonio community. The name, along with a depiction of the famous Alamo, is showcased on the aircraft to the left of the door.

During the ceremony, San Antonio City Council member Rey Saldana, District 4, read a proclamation on behalf of the city to the 433rd AW welcoming its first Super Galaxy.

“I’m a member of the San Antonio community, and more than anything; we like to pride ourselves on being called ‘Military City USA,’” he said. “It’s not just a slogan for us."

“I’ve lived outside the Lackland Air Force Base community my entire life, so to be invited in as an elected official, and more importantly, as a San Antonio community member it means the world to me, especially on a great day like this, where you get to get close up to the mission and to see the arrival of the great C-5M Super Galaxy,” said Saldana. “It’s amazing.”

As the ceremony came to a close, guests were invited to explore the largest plane in the U.S. military fleet. This was especially exciting for Retired Gen. Thomas M. Ryan Jr., former Military Airlift Command commander, who piloted that first C-5A Galaxy to Kelly Air Force Base, Texas, home to the wing all those years ago.

“It feels good to be here around a great bunch of people in the 433rd,” said the 88-year-old command pilot who has flown more than 8,000 flying hours. “This brings back a lot of good memories.”

“The M is a great addition to the fleet,” he said. “They finally have a modern, reliable plane to accomplish their mission. I’m happy for them.”

Col. Thomas K. Smith Jr., 433rd AW commander, mirrored Ryan’s excitement for improved capabilities the C-5M will bring to his unit.

“Our mission at the 433rd Airlift Wing is to provide combat ready troops to the active-duty military and our combatant commanders,” he said. “This upgrade ensures us the ability to provide reliable, rapid global mobility, one of the six Air Force core competencies. This is a great day for us here at the Alamo Wing.”

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