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Dover C-5 departure reliability rate reaches all-time high

A C-5M Super Galaxy lands April 4, 2016 at Dover Air Force Base, Del. The Home-Station Logistics Departure Reliability Rate for Team Dover’s C-5M fleet for March 2016, was 98.1 percent. (U.S. Air Force photo/Roland Balik)

A C-5M Super Galaxy lands April 4, 2016 at Dover Air Force Base, Del. The Home-Station Logistics Departure Reliability Rate for Team Dover’s C-5M fleet for March 2016, was 98.1 percent. (U.S. Air Force photo/Roland Balik)

Senior Airman Tyler Garcia, 436th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron electrical and environmental systems journeyman, performs maintenance on a C-5M Super Galaxy jet engine Feb. 24, 2016, on the flight line at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. Team Dover maintainers are anticipated to operate at the joint base until August, with a rotation at the halfway point. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Zachary Cacicia)

Senior Airman Tyler Garcia, 436th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron electrical and environmental systems journeyman, performs maintenance on a C-5M Super Galaxy jet engine Feb. 24, 2016, on the flight line at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. Team Dover maintainers are anticipated to operate at the joint base until August, with a rotation at the halfway point. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Zachary Cacicia)

A C-5M Super Galaxy, operated by the 436th Airlift Wing, sits on the flight line Feb. 24, 2016, at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. The Home-Station Logistics Departure Reliability Rate over the past 12 month period was 88.1 percent and over the past 24 month period was 87 percent. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Zachary Cacicia)

A C-5M Super Galaxy, operated by the 436th Airlift Wing, sits on the flight line Feb. 24, 2016, at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. The Home-Station Logistics Departure Reliability Rate over the past 12 month period was 88.1 percent and over the past 24 month period was 87 percent. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Zachary Cacicia)

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. -- Aircraft break no matter what, causing delays. But as of late, this has been happening less often.

Over the past 12-month and 24-month periods, Team Dover's fleet of 18 C-5M Super Galaxy airlifters have experienced the highest Home-Station Logistics Departure Reliability Rate in their history, which can be attributed to the hard work and experience of Airmen from the 436th Maintenance Group and 512th Maintenance Group.

HSLDR is the rate at which an aircraft successfully departs its home station on time. The Air Mobility Command standard for the C-5M, is 76.7 percent, meaning that three of every four aircraft are expected to depart on time.

"This last month (March), we were at 98.1 percent," said Lt. Col. Danzel Albertsen, 436th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander. "That was 52 departures and only one delay--a pretty amazing feat."

The 436th AMXS is the active duty squadron responsible for the maintenance of Team Dover C-5M fleet, the largest airlifter in the U.S. Air Force's inventory.

This feat is especially remarkable because the majority of Team Dover's C-5Ms and 150 436th AMXS maintainers are temporarily operating out of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, due to the ongoing major runway construction project on Dover AFB's runway.

Over the past 12 months, the HSLDR was 88.1 percent; and over the past 24-month period, that number is 87 percent, well above the AMC requirement. A lot of this has to do with the technological upgrade from the C-5A and B models to the C-5M model.

"The C-5M is so much farther advanced than the C-5As and Bs," said Albertsen. "They fly the same, but there's a lot more technology."

Many of the systems on the C-5M have computer interfaces that monitor and give updates and warnings to the maintainers that something requires attention, needs maintenance or requires replacement. This is similar to newer cars that have computer systems to monitors tire air pressure, oil levels and various other components.

It takes much more than these computer systems to achieve such a high reliability rate. It takes the dedicated work of the Airmen who are turning wrenches, replacing tires and wiring systems each and every day.

"It's a solid team; it's not just the 436th AMXS," said Albertsen. "It's the 512th AMXS, it's the maintenance operations, it's the logistics readiness squadron on base, the aerial port squadron, and it takes everyone. We have to remember the aircrews, the 9th and 709th Airlift Squadrons, and the operations support squadron for the training. If they write it down correctly and make the correct debriefs, we will be able to successfully turn the plane around and give it back to them. This does not happen without being a teammate."