The achievement for the Lockheed-made transport plane followed qualification testing, operational testing and evaluation, and the delivery of the 16th C-5M aircraft with aircrew and maintenance personnel to Dover Air Force Base, Del.
"I'm proud of Dover's efforts in helping to achieve this significant milestone," Col. Rick Moore, 436th Airlift Wing commander, said. "Our aircrews and maintainers have worked tirelessly to support the upgrade and launch of the Super Galaxy airframe, to include training the next generation of operators and mechanics."
For the IOC designation, initial spare equipment and parts had to be available in the base supply system at Dover as well as spares at some forward supply locations. Support equipment, test, measurement and diagnostic equipment also were required to be in place at Dover, key en-route locations and depot repair facilities.
The Air Force said upgrades to the C-5 include new engines that deliver 22 percent more thrust, 30 percent shorter takeoff distance, and a 58 percent faster climb rate while also reducing fuel consumption.
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