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C-5M Super Galaxy Inspires Next Generation at Great Texas Airshow

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jacob Lewis
  • 433rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 433rd Airlift Wing’s 68th and 356th Airlift Squadrons conducted a joint airlift mission with the U.S. Army by delivering a M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank and a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle from Robert Gray Army Airfield at Fort Cavazos, Texas to Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas to be static displays for The Great Texas Airshow on Apr. 6 and 7. 

More than 350,000 mothers and fathers, grandmas and grandpas, sons and daughters flooded the gates of The Great Texas Airshow to see aerial spectacles, breathtaking static displays, and the air power of the world’s greatest Air Force. As soon as attendees entered from the South Ramp, the C-5M Super Galaxy, the largest aircraft in the U.S. Air Force’s arsenals was on full display. With the nose and tail area of the C-5M, the gravity defying, titan of the sky, weighing in at over 400,000 pounds opened up, families funneled through the fuselage walkthrough to enter the air show. 

Since 1968, the C-M Super Galaxy has taken to the skies, and generations have been inspired. At the airshow, there were aerial and static displays as well as recruiting presence by all the branches. One Air Force recruiter shared her inspiration to join the U.S. Air Force. 

“I migrated to the U.S. from the Philippines, and I attended an airshow at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida,” said Staff Sgt. Jammie Lee Lueck, Air and Space Force recruiter. “I was inspired to join the Air Force and right after I reached out to a recruiter and signed up."

"What resonated with me the most was the moment I first walked into the airshow, there was a C-5, and my family and I walked through it–it was mesmerizing and what I remember most to this day,” Lueck added. “Today is about bringing families together, we are all being influencers and planting seeds for the next generation of recruits.” 

In attendance was one such recent recruit. Airman Dane Larson, recent Basic Military Graduate, was tasked with augmentee duties to help set up the airshow. He toured the C-5 and saw the cockpit. “Wow, that was amazing!” He exclaimed after exiting the C-5. “I am so pumped to get to my unit and start my mission!” Larson is awaiting training to become an Airborne Cryptologic Language Analyst. 

Also in attendance were members of the Airman Heritage Foundation. Each member donned legacy uniforms that military branches have retired. 

“We have a selection of vintage uniforms from World War II and the early fifties,” said retired Air Force Maj. Allen Vickrey. “We are doing this to promote an appreciation for Air Force History, and to showcase the individuals in uniform who made the military great.” 

Retired Air Force Staff Sergeant, Sherry Chadwick, emphasized the importance of inspiring the next generation. “The little kids are so fascinated by our uniforms and they want to take pictures with us,” she said. “We are cultivating the next generation. This is the first time they have ever seen this.” 

One Reserve Citizen Airman who led the entire operation and incorporated the next generation was Maj. Gary Koivisto, 433rd Operations Support Squadron instructor aircraft commander. He was the 433rd AW’s liaison to JBSA for the event. 

“The C-5 is the first thing families see when they walk into the air show,” said Koivisto. “Families and taxpayers need to see what their military can do. They can get up close to the aircraft and meet the aircrews and learn about the airlift mission. This mission showcases agile combat employment with rapid mobility. It incorporates active duty, army, and JBSA all coming together for the families and community.” 

Koivisto enjoyed the airshow interacting with the community, with his aircrew, and his own family joined in as well. 

Koivisto was not the only 433rd member to join in the festivities with family and friends. Capt. Britt Talbott, 68th AS pilot, spent the day with his family. His wife, parents, and three-year-old daughter got to see the airshow and the C-5 Talbott flew. It was the first time Talbott’s daughter got to see the behemoth up close.  

Before the open house kicked off at a pre-mission flight brief, Col. William Gutermuth, 433rd AW commander, gave a reminder to his units about taking pride in wearing the uniform and showcasing the mission to the community and families. 

“I wanted to let you all know that I am proud of you all,” said Gutermuth. “The most important thing to remember is that those folks coming to the airshow are going to look at you in uniform and you will represent the United States military and the country. Many of them are going to have big wide eyes, particularly the kids. It’s a great opportunity to engage with them and show them what we're about and pass that pride onto them. This is their military.”