409th SCMS C-5 Flight Manages Cargo Aircraft’s Supply Chain, keeps Air Force Mission Flying

Holly Logan-Arrington

Wednesday, August 11th, 2021

Keeping the military’s largest transport aircraft stocked with necessary parts is a mission the 409th Supply Chain Management Squadron C-5 Flight at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, doesn’t take lightly.

The flight, part of the 638th Supply Chain Management Group, provides supply chain management support for multiple C-5 aircraft for the Air Force. The flight develops and executes enterprise demand and supply plans in order to ensure parts are on the shelf, readily available for field and depot customers that use the heavy cargo planes.

Brian Giberson, C-5 lead equipment specialist in the 409th SCMS, said the C-5 Flight provides support for several of the Air Force’s major commands, in addition to offering similar support to other military service branches.

“The ultimate goal of the flight is to provide supply support to the Air Mobility Command, Air Force Reserve Command and the Air Force Space Command, as well as provide interdepartmental support to the Army, Navy and Marines,” he said. “The C-5 Flight works together with repair complexes across the Air Force, interdepartmental military repair sources and Defense Department contractors to repair and manufacture C-5 commodities.”

Locally, the C-5 Flight supports the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex, ensuring parts are available when aircraft arrive for programmed depot maintenance, otherwise known as PDM, every eight years, in addition to providing part support and technical guidance to the commodity shops both at Robins and at Hill Air Force Base in Utah.

Kristin Howell, 409th SCMS director, said the 638th SCMG, as a whole, enables mission success beyond Robins’ gates.

“The 638th SCMG contributes to the success of the WR-ALC by leading its people and managing its resources during today’s challenging environment in order to provide parts on-time to support the Air Force’s mission,” she said. “This entails managing commodities located throughout the world, forecasting adequate quantities necessary to meet requirements and ensuring fleet availability is maintained to carry out the many Air Force missions across multiple weapon systems.”

Emily Floyd, C-5 Flight chief, said her staff implements various methods to manage the C-5 supply chain.

“The C-5 Flight uses multiple data analysis tools to review current and forecasted requirements, allowing the team to strategically plan and ensure parts are available ahead of the need dates for depot and field customers,” she said. “The C-5 team continuously analyzes and updates projected buy and repair forecasts, coordinating with users, maintenance squadrons, program offices and major commands, informing stakeholders of conditions that may impact parts availability.”

Tim Elliott, a C-5 logistics management specialist in the 409th SCMS, said the C-5 Flight is committed to supporting the cargo aircraft’s mission by providing proper supply chain management to keep the Air Force mission going.

“As a part of the 409th SCMS, the C-5 Flight is entrusted with the responsibility of maintaining the Air Force’s supply pipeline needed to successfully support the heavy cargo mission of the C-5 aircraft,” he said. “To do this, the C-5 Flight utilizes the tools, training and funding provided to monitor and support customer requirements and to pursue buy and repair actions needed for those items that fall under our purview.”

Floyd said the C-5 Flight is currently working to improve parts supportability for C-5 PDM.

“The flight works closely with the Depot Supply Chain Management Team, strategically reviewing the list of parts that are replaced 100% during PDM,” she said. “Together, the teams ensure sufficient assets are in the repair pipeline to support the aircraft upon PDM induction.”

Additionally, Floyd said the C-5 Flight works with the C-5 System Program Office and the DSCM Team to review the Supportability Task List prior to each PDM induction.

“The STL is the list of parts with reported damage in accordance with the last minor Pre-Induction Inspection,” Floyd said. “The majority of the strategic data analysis and supportability improvement efforts are led by the C-5 DSCM Team.”

The 409th SCMS recently added a supply integrator position to ensure the 409th SCMS’ supply activities are aligned with the goals and timelines of the 402nd Aircraft Maintenance Group with the WR-ALC. The addition has greatly improved parts supportability for the C-5 PDM, Floyd said.

Jay Harrington, the supply integrator in the 409th SCMS who is co-located with the 402nd AMXG, said the 409th SCMS executes supply chain activities to enable combat power.

“You can’t fly without supply,” he said. “The 409th team works to ensure supplies are available by partnering with government and commercial suppliers. Every day, members of the 409th SCMS execute buy and repair actions while working to resolve supplier constraints.

“No one liked going to the store last year and finding out there was no toilet paper on the shelf,” Harrington said. “The 409th takes that same feeling and works to ensure our Airmen have what they need, when they need it, to complete their mission.”