On 24 October 1974, the Air Force successfully conducted an Air Mobile Feasibility Test when C-5A Galaxy 69-0014 (this aircraft!) air dropped an 86,000-lb Minuteman Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) from 20,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean. The missile descended to 8,000 feet under a parachute before its rocket engine fired. The 10-second engine burn carried the missile to 20,000 feet again before it dropped into the ocean. The test proved the feasibility of launching an ICBM from the air. Due to engineering and security difficulties, however, the program was not continued. In the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT), the capability was used as a negotiating point.
As the Air Force’s largest and only strategic airlifter, the C-5 Galaxy can carry more cargo farther distances than any other aircraft. With a payload of six Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles (MRAPs) or up to five helicopters, the C-5 can haul twice as much cargo as any other airlifter.
The C-5 entered operational service in 1970 and has been a vital asset in every military operation since that time including Vietnam, Desert Storm and Operation Enduring Freedom. It has also been essential in humanitarian relief efforts including hurricane Katrina, tsunami and earthquake relief. With a service life that stretches beyond 2040, the C-5 will remain a central figure in strategic airlift for decades to come.
|2 Aug 1971||Accepted by the United States Air Force for the Military Airlift Command (MAC)|
|3 Aug 1971||Delivered to 436th Military Airlift Wing, Dover AFB, DE (MAC)|
|26 Jan 1972||to the 437th Military Airlift Wing, Charleston AFB, SC (MAC)|
|21 Aug 1973||to the 436th Military Airlift Wing, Dover AFB, DE (MAC)|
|27 Jul 1977||to the 60th Military Airlift Wing, Travis AFB, CA (MAC)|
|5 Dec 1981||to the 443d Military Airlift Wing, Altus AFB, OK (MAC)|
|17 Sep 1983||to the 60th Military Airlift Wing, Travis AFB, CA (MAC)|
|16 Nov 1983||to Lockheed Martin for Wing Replacement|
|27 Jun 1984||to the 60th Military Airlift Wing, Travis AFB, CA (MAC)|
|20 Aug 1984||to the 443d Military Airlift Wing, Altus AFB, OK (MAC)|
|22 Jun 1988||to the 60th Military Airlift Wing, Travis AFB, CA (MAC)|
|21 Dec 1996||to the 97th Air Mobility Wing, Altus AFB, OK Air Education & Training Command (AETC)|
|1 Mar 2002||to the 60th Air Mobility Wing, Travis AFB, CA (AMC)|
|15 Jan 2004||to the 433rd Airlift Wing, Lackland AFB, TX Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC)|
|8 Dec 2011||to the 164th Airlift Wing, Memphis IAP, TN Air National Guard (ANG)|
|7 Aug 2013||Final flight to Dover AFB, DE for demilitarization|
|20 Oct 2013||Retired to Air Mobility Command Museum|