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Robins to make room for C-5 workload

Daniel Blanco, 574th Commodities Maintenance Squadron sheet metal mechanic, works on the C-5 forward ramp floorboard. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ed Aspera)

Daniel Blanco, 574th Commodities Maintenance Squadron sheet metal mechanic, works on the C-5 forward ramp floorboard. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ed Aspera)

Daniel Blanco, 574th Commodities Maintenance Squadron sheet metal mechanic, works on the C-5 forward ramp floorboard. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ed Aspera)

Daniel Blanco, 574th Commodities Maintenance Squadron sheet metal mechanic, works on the C-5 forward ramp floorboard. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ed Aspera)

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --

Shops across the 402nd Commodities Maintenance Group and many others are currently experiencing a renaissance of sorts. That’s because there’s an air of anticipation, with a nod to the future of exciting things to come.

When mission-critical contract work performed on the C-5 Galaxy ended in 2015, the contractor, Marianna Airmotive, still had in its possession large assets and tooling that needed to be relocated. The Florida company had remanufactured, overhauled and made parts for 20 years for one of the Air Force’s most versatile cargo aircraft.

Robins stepped in, and by August, a team of engineers, planners and Defense Logistics Agency personnel had audited assets the company had in its possession. By fall those assets and tooling were shipped to Georgia on 40 truckloads.

“Through the resources of 402nd CMXG, in just a few months this team designed tooling, stood up shops, and is now capable to do overhaul and repair on these critical assets,” said Mark Johnson, 402nd CMXG deputy director. “Here’s a case where major strategic airlift capabilities for the Air Force were in jeopardy. When we talk about depots – why we maintain 50/50 capabilities – this is exactly the reason.”

For example, Building 169 has been a flurry of activity. When you’re dealing with C-5 parts, such as side doors, you need floor space to not only store, but maintain and work them. The building was reconfigured to accommodate the workload.

But it’s not just happening there. In less than a year’s time, it took tremendous effort to bring the items to Robins and sort through it all, while at the same time standing up multiple shops so the mission could continue. 

A total of 54 assets will be worked, and set up across numerous buildings over the next several years, to include Buildings 169, 149, 110, and 2328, location of the C-5 aft and forward ramp shops. Those are one of the largest C-5 assets, which take the longest time to overhaul, sometimes up to one year. 

“The wonderful thing about this effort is we don’t have the capability yet to paint these (aft and forward ramps), but we’ve partnered with 402nd AMXG. We’ve already built a fixture, rolled a ramp into their shop, got it out, partnering with them until our paint shop could build a bigger area. That’s been a big win,” said Karla Landry, 574th Production Engineering Section director.