--The Air Mobility Command commander returned five C-5M Super Galaxy airlifters from Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, to flying operations today following repairs to the aircraft's nose landing gear.
Meanwhile the command's top leader directed a replacement of all C-5 ball screw assembly parts fleet-wide to ensure compliance with standards of performance and maximize aircrew safety.
"My top priority is safety and readiness of our fleet," said Gen. Carlton D. Everhart II, Air Mobility Command commander. "Our Airmen are working deliberately and methodically at Dover and across the command to identify and resolve any issues impacting the C-5 fleet. We have put measures in place to ensure aircrew safety and reduce wear-and-tear on the aircraft."
A Dover C-5 stand-down was directed by the AMC Commander July 17 following a second malfunction of the nose landing gear within a 60-day period. Team Dover maintainers replaced ball screw drive assembly parts on the five aircraft returned to flying operations. Additionally, work is being done to replace parts on aircraft at Travis AFB, Calif., to ensure safety and minimize impact on worldwide operations.
"We're taking all precautionary measures to ensure the safety of Airmen and the reliability of aircraft," Everhart said. "We're working hard to minimize impact to the warfighter and worldwide mission requirements without compromising safety."
There are two ball screws on the C-5 nose landing gear. Both ball screws operate in tandem to retract and extend the nose landing gear, according to officials. If a single ball screw drive assembly is not operational and causes binding, the gear cannot operate and will stall the extension or retraction process.
Everhart also issued a policy restricting the use of kneel operations on all C-5 aircraft to mission essential requirements only. The commander is relying on maintainers and engineers to return aircraft to flying operations as quickly as possible.
"With an aging fleet, it is important to take all potential measures to reduce stress on the aircraft," Everhart said. "Our maintainers are working extremely hard to make aircraft repairs and ensure continued support to worldwide missions while engineers assist in securing the parts we need."
There are 56 C-5 aircraft in the Air Force fleet.