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Air Force selects Westover as national C-5 inspection, maintenance center

A Westover C-5 is opened for a detailed check-up within the isochronal inspection hangar here. Westover was selected as the center for Reserve ISO inspections during an announcement Dec. 13 in which the Air Force unveiled plans to consolidate its ISO facilities.

A Westover C-5 is opened for a detailed check-up within the isochronal inspection hangar here. Westover was selected as the center for Reserve ISO inspections during an announcement Dec. 13 in which the Air Force unveiled plans to consolidate its ISO facilities.

A Westover C-5 is opened for a detailed check-up within the isochronal inspection hangar here. Westover was selected as the center for Reserve ISO inspections during an announcement Dec. 13 in which the Air Force unveiled plans to consolidate its ISO facilities.

A Westover C-5 is opened for a detailed check-up within the isochronal inspection hangar here. Westover was selected as the center for Reserve ISO inspections during an announcement Dec. 13 in which the Air Force unveiled plans to consolidate its ISO facilities.

A Westover C-5 is opened for a detailed check-up within the isochronal inspection hangar here. Westover was selected as the center for Reserve ISO inspections during an announcement Dec. 13 in which the Air Force unveiled plans to consolidate its ISO facilities.

A Westover C-5 is opened for a detailed check-up within the isochronal inspection hangar here. Westover was selected as the center for Reserve ISO inspections during an announcement Dec. 13 in which the Air Force unveiled plans to consolidate its ISO facilities.

WESTOVER AIR RESERVE BASE, Mass. -- Westover will become the new center for in-depth maintenance on all Air Force Reserve C-5 aircraft according to a Dec. 13 announcement by Air Force officials.

The eight existing C-5 isochronal inspection facilities will be consolidated into three in order to increase aircraft availability while cutting support costs, Air Mobility Command officials said.

Isochronal inspections are detailed examinations of the entire aircraft. Aircraft maintainers look for and repair problems in every system, from nose to tail and wingtip to wingtip.

Westover's ISO dock has been here for 16 years.

"The average technician in here has about 10 to 16-years of experience," said Senior Master Sgt. Thomas Cessna, a 439th Maintenance Squadron flight chief. "Our experience was a big plus."

Westover's experience combined with its proven facilities will allow the Air Force to streamline the ISO process throughout the Reserves-- putting more planes in the air instead of in the hangars.

With no end to the sustained airlift requirements in sight, every C-5 sortie, every pallet moved, is important, said Brig. Gen. Robert McMahon, AMC director of logistics. Each additional C-5 brought "into the fight" means more sorties, and more sorties means better support to the warfighter.

"Westover was selected because we have a proven track record," said Capt. Joseph Zackaricz, a maintenance supervisor at the 439th AMXS. "We have a lot to offer the Air Force, and it's proven by our high success rates and the experience level that we bring." Despite the massive effort involved in the transition to the C-5B fleet earlier this year-- which took many planes off of the flightline, Westover managed to equal the Air Force's mission capable rates during the last six months, averaging out to approximately 56 percent.

The ISO consolidation will also include more jobs to meet the increased demand for the facilities here.

"The plan calls for all Air Force C-5 cargo aircraft inspections to consolidate at three Total Force locations: Westover, Dover AFB, (Md.) and an Air National Guard unit to be announced at a later date," said Brig. Gen. Elizabeth A. Grote, AFRC logistics director, Robins AFB, Ga. "We anticipate being able to realign affected reservists at Wright-Patterson AFB (Oh.) and Lackland AFB (Texas) into vacant positions."

A portion of the active-duty ISO manpower will also be integrated with forces at the Reserve and Guard sites, AMC officials said.

"It'll have a huge impact on the job base here at Westover and in the local community," Sergeant Cessna said. "It's going to solidify our place in the Air Force and in the community."

Westover is home to 16 of the Air Force's 111 C-5s.

"It certainly puts us on the map," Captain Zackaricz said. "It guarantees that Westover will be here for a long time."