Galactic Project’s Final Touch

The West Virginia Air National Guard’s 167th Airlift Wing at Martinsburg ANG Base completed the last phase of a five-year infrastructure project to support its transition to the C-5 Galaxy transport, according to wing officials. Extending the base’s taxiway alpha to enable the massive airlifters to launch from the runway overrun without back-taxiing and turning around was “the last military construction project for the base’s C-5 bed down,” said Maj. Paul Henry, Martinsburg’s deputy base engineer, in an Aug. 8 release. The final $10 million taxiway upgrade “will save a lot of fuel and a lot of wear and tear on the landing gear,” he added. The 167th AW began converting from the C-130 to the C-5 in 1999; it now operates a force of 11 Galaxies. Reconfiguring the airfield layout to handle the C-5s required widening and realigning taxiways, installing new lighting, and reworking access roads, costing approximately $50 million, states the release. (Martinsburg report by SSgt. Sheree Grebenstein)