Each night the C-5M Super Galaxy flew into Eglin AFB range and released more than 15 flares. This process was repeated several times from different range entry points and angles throughout the night.
As the photos in this post show a C-5M Super Galaxy belonging to the 436th Airlift Wing from Dover Air Force Base (AFB), Delaware, visited Eglin AFB during the last two weeks for defensive countermeasures testing over Eglin’s range. Each night the aircraft flew into an area of the range and released more than 15 flares. This process was repeated several times from different range entry points and angles throughout the night.
As explained by Samuel King Jr. in the article With Flare: Super Galaxy visits Eglin for countermeasures testing, the goal of Air Mobility Command Test and Evaluation Squadron’s testing was to increase aircraft and crew combat survivability by evaluating and fielding improved defensive systems capabilities.
Eglin AFB was the prime site for this testing due to its one-stop shopping location for this test type according to Jim Bonn, AMCTES test director.
“AMC brings aircraft and crew and everything else is ready for us,” he said.
For the 9th Airlift Squadron’s operational aircrew, the chance to participate in countermeasures testing and to release flares going 300 knots at 1,500 feet was a unique opportunity not to be missed.
“There are rare situations when the aircraft does pop flares,” said Capt. Bryan Chanson, 9th AS pilot. “The crew is usually focused primarily on flying out or away from the potential threat and hoping flares do their intended jobs. The testing allowed us to gain the situational awareness to concentrate on flare dispense in a safe environment.”
The 46th Test Squadron was responsible for the Eglin-based test planning, resource coordination and execution for the entirety of the Super Galaxy’s test.
Flare testing requires support from many Eglin units and external organizations.
Since its inception, the C-5 has been a critical instrument of the US National policy. From the defense of Israel in the Yom Kippur war, to the air bridge supporting coalition forces in Desert Storm, the C-5 delivers unmatched capability to carry enormous loads over global distances.
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 modernized C-5M is demonstrating a new era of highly capable, reliable and affordable airlift. With departure reliability rates greater than 90 percent and payload increases of 20 percent over legacy C-5s, the Super Galaxy is delivering more to the warfighter on every mission. With a substantial improvement in unrefueled range, the C-5M is overflying traditional en-route fuel stops, enabling a reduction in fuel consumption by as much as 20 percent.
Photo credit: Samuel King Jr. / U.S. Air Force