Getting Defensive

One of the C-5As from Air Force Reserve Command’s 445th Airlift Wing at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, has just received a new missile warning system and decoy flare dispensers that, along with recently installed armor plating, will give this aircraft the ability to fly in higher threat areas. Contractors from L3 Communications spent the past two months at Wright-Patt installing the AN/AAR 47 MWS and the AN/ALE 47 countermeasure dispensing system that work in unison to protect the aircraft from shoulder-fired missiles. The Air Force still has 38 of its C-5As—eight alone in the 445th AW—that lack these defensive measures. This installation was done as a test case to draw lessons and optimize the process for the remaining aircraft. “Installing the aircraft defense system on all the C-5A models had been talked about for a long time now,” said MSgt. Russell Leganik, a quality assurance inspector with the 445th Maintenance Group. He continued, “We can get more utilization out of the A models if we can go into combat zones.” There is no contract yet to upgrade the remaining C-5As. (Includes Wright-Patt report by Stacy Vaughn)