by Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle
5/22/2015 - MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- The
last C-5A Galaxy aircraft assigned to the 167th Airlift Wing and the
Air National Guard launched from the airfield here May 20, into its
retirement at the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at
Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, otherwise known as the boneyard.
Piloted by a crew from the 337th Airlift Squadron, Westover Air Reserve
Base, Mass., the C-5's departure, marked the end of an era for the West
Virginia Air National Guard unit.
During a small ceremony held May 19, the Wing acknowledged the end of a
52 year partnership with Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of every
aircraft the unit has flown since 1962, including C-121 Super
Constellations, C-130 Hercules A, B, E and H models and finally the C-5
The unit is in conversion to the C-17 Globemaster III, a Boeing aircraft.
"Today we pause to celebrate a sustained and successful era of iron and
partnership, but it is the people who move the iron that are the most
important," said Col. Shaun Perkowski, 167th Airlift Wing commander. "It
is vital we remember and honor where we came from as we move the wing
Kim Mazur, program director for Lockheed Martin, and Chuck LaFavre,
Lockheed Martin Martinsburg C-5 systems engineer, presented Perkowski
with a plaque thanking the men and women of the 167th Airlift Wing for
their sustained support of the Lockheed Martin aircraft.
An inscription on the round metal disc read in part, "your support of
the United States Air Force and the West Virginia Air National Guard
while utilizing Lockheed Martin aircraft has been and will continue to
In February 2012, the Air Force Structure Overview released by the
Secretary of the Air Force outlined numerous aircraft changes planned
for the Active, Guard and Reserve components to include the retirement
of the 167th Airlift Wing's C-5A's. The unit was reassigned with eight
C-17 Globemaster III aircraft.
All 11 C-5 aircraft that were assigned to the 167th Airlift Wing were
retired to AMARG. Seven of the eight C-17 aircraft have been delivered
to the 167th, with the final one slated to arrive in July.