Retiring C5As

The Air Force would like to reduce its fleet of C-5A transports from 59 to 27 as part of the broader strategy to maintain a fleet of “about 300 strategic airlift aircraft,” Duncan McNabb, head of US Transportation Command, said on Capitol Hill Thursday. “They want to go down to 27 C-5As. And it ends up being about 32 C-5As that they’d like to retire,” McNabb told the Senate Armed Services Committee in response to questioning by Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) on C-5 modernization efforts and the future strategic airlift mix. McNabb said that mix would consist of 222 C-17s, 52 C-5Ms, and the 27 C-5As. “C-5A retirements will improve aircraft availability by removing maintenance intensive jets from the fleet and will allow us to focus our maintenance personnel and resources on the right-sized fleet,” wrote McNabb in his prepared statement to the committee.

The Air Force is already moving forward with phasing out 22 C-5As—10 less than what McNabb mentioned—under a plan announced last year.


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