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Yokota Airmen train with the colossal C-5M Super Galaxy

Wide side-view of a very large cargo plane with three red fire trucks in the in-front of it

Airmen from the 730th Air Mobility Squadron prepare a C-5M Super Galaxy for a firefighter training exercise during a ground training event at Yokota Air Base Japan, Sept. 16, 2021. The C-5M is a strategic transport aircraft and is the largest aircraft in the Air Force inventory. Its primary mission is to transport cargo and personnel for the Department of Defense. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Lackey)

730th Air Mobility Squadron members take a break and check C-5M Super Galaxy guidance at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Sept. 15, 2021. Through a special request to Pacific Air Forces, the 730th AMS was able to utilize a C-5M for familiarization training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Edwards)

730th Air Mobility Squadron members take a break and check C-5M Super Galaxy guidance at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Sept. 15, 2021. Through a special request to Pacific Air Forces, the 730th AMS was able to utilize a C-5M for familiarization training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Edwards)

Staff Sgt. Brian Panas, 730th Air Mobility Squadron aircraft propulsion journeyman, checks a C-5M Super Galaxy air turbine motor prior to servicing at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Sept. 15, 2021. During this portion of a several day familiarization training, the 730th AMS replaced hydraulic fluid, provided a liquid nitrogen resupply and learned how to utilize a control panel for fuels. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Edwards)

Staff Sgt. Brian Panas, 730th Air Mobility Squadron aircraft propulsion journeyman, checks a C-5M Super Galaxy air turbine motor prior to servicing at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Sept. 15, 2021. During this portion of a several day familiarization training, the 730th AMS replaced hydraulic fluid, provided a liquid nitrogen resupply and learned how to utilize a control panel for fuels. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Edwards)

A utility truck with a large tank on the back is parked next to a much larger cargo plane

Senior Airman Andrew Inzunza, 730th Air Mobility Squadron aerospace maintenance journeyman, gives hands-on instruction to Staff Sgt. Lance Nabors, 730th Air Mobility Squadron aircraft hydraulic systems craftsman, during a C-5M Super Galaxy ground training event at Yokota Air Base Japan, Sept. 17, 2021. C-5M servicing is an annual training provided to Yokota Airmen to keep them fluent in working with the Air Force’s largest aircraft. Yokota is considered a heavy aircraft hub for U.S. and allied forces in the Pacific region, with several types of non-local aircraft stopping at the base for servicing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Lackey)

Close-up of a firefighter wearing a red helmet and respirator mask

Staff Sgt. Arthur Lewis, 374th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighter crew chief, sweeps through the flight deck area of a C-5M Super Galaxy during a ground training event at Yokota Air Base Japan, Sept. 16, 2021. The C-5M is one of the largest aircraft in the world and the largest airlifter in the Air Force inventory. The aircraft can carry a fully equipped, combat-ready military unit to any point in the world on short notice and then provide the supplies required to help sustain the fighting force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Lackey)

Senior Airmen Joseph Devera-Cruz, left, and Joshua James, right, 730th Air Mobility Squadron aircraft maintenance journeymen, prepare to change a tire on a C-5M Super Galaxy at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Sept. 13, 2021.

Senior Airmen Joseph Devera-Cruz, left, and Joshua James, right, 730th Air Mobility Squadron aircraft maintenance journeymen, prepare to change a tire on a C-5M Super Galaxy at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Sept. 13, 2021. Airmen participated in many different training exercises including maintenance, inspections and loading capabilities in order to maintain mission readiness. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Brieana E. Bolfing)

An Airman looks over the many gas valve controls of a nitrogen gas truck

Staff Sgt. Lance Nabors, 730th Air Mobility Squadron aircraft hydraulic systems craftsman, looks over the valve controls of a nitrogen servicing truck to be used as part of a C-5M Super Galaxy ground training event at Yokota Air Base Japan, Sept. 17, 2021. The C-5M uses nitrogen for fire suppression in care of an emergency. Nitrogen is a cold, inert gas that works to put out fires by displacing oxygen from most fire types, effectively smothering flames before they can overtake an aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Lackey)

A C-5M Super Galaxy kneels at its landing while sitting on the flightline at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Sept. 14, 2021.

A C-5M Super Galaxy kneels at its landing while sitting on the flightline at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Sept. 14, 2021. “Kneeling” landing gear permits the lowering of the aircraft when parked, presenting the cargo deck at truck-bed height to facilitate loading and unloading operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Brieana E. Bolfing)

730th Air Mobility Squadron members learn about fuel control on a C-5M Super Galaxy at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Sept. 15, 2021. The 730th AMS was able to acquire a C-5M from Travis Air Force Base in Fairchild, California, to use for familiarization training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Edwards)

730th Air Mobility Squadron members learn about fuel control on a C-5M Super Galaxy at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Sept. 15, 2021. The 730th AMS was able to acquire a C-5M from Travis Air Force Base in Fairchild, California, to use for familiarization training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Edwards)

A red fire truck extends a large spike on the end of a overhead arm
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Airmen from the 374th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire and Emergency Services Flight perform a systems check on an airport crash tender firetruck during a C-5M Super Galaxy ground training event at Yokota Air Base Japan, Sept. 16, 2021. The crash tender is a specialized firefighting vehicle that comes equipped with an extending arm with an attached reinforced nozzle, called a “snozzle”, that’s designed to pierce the fuselage of a burning aircraft and inject fire suppressing materials. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Lackey)

The underside of a very large cargo plane with several maintainer Airmen peering underneath from the far end
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Airmen from the 730th Air Mobility Squadron prepare a C-5M Super Galaxy for a firefighter training exercise during a ground training event at Yokota Air Base Japan, Sept. 16, 2021. The C-5M is a strategic transport aircraft and is the largest aircraft in the Air Force inventory. Its primary mission is to transport cargo and personnel for the Department of Defense. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Lackey)

Two Airmen in white coveralls and protective face shields refilling a nitrogen tank
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Staff Sgt. Lance Nabors, 730th Air Mobility Squadron aircraft hydraulic systems craftsman, and Senior Airman Andrew Inzunza, 730th AMS aerospace maintenance journeyman, monitor the nitrogen pressure gauges on a C-5M Super Galaxy’s fire suppression system during a ground training event at Yokota Air Base Japan, Sept. 2021. C-5M servicing is an annual training provided to Yokota Airmen to keep them fluent in working with the Air Force’s largest aircraft. Yokota is considered a heavy aircraft hub for U.S. and allied forces in the Pacific region, with several types of non-local aircraft stopping at the base for servicing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Lackey)

Power runs through a control board on a C-5M Super Galaxy that was at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Sept. 15, 2021. The 730th Air Mobility Squadron performed familiarization on the board and learned about the various fuel functions it provides. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Edwards)
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Power runs through a control board on a C-5M Super Galaxy that was at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Sept. 15, 2021. The 730th Air Mobility Squadron performed familiarization on the board and learned about the various fuel functions it provides. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Edwards)

A firefighter carrying a fire hose is framed in the dark entry hatch of a very large cargo plane
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Staff Sgt. Arthur Lewis, 374th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighter crew chief, prepares to board a C-5M Super Galaxy during a ground training event at Yokota Air Base Japan, Sept. 16, 2021. The C-5M is one of the largest aircraft in the world and the largest airlifter in the Air Force inventory. The aircraft can carry a fully equipped, combat-ready military unit to any point in the world on short notice and then provide the supplies required to help sustain the fighting force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Lackey)

An Airman with a long hammer pounds into place a large airplane jack
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Senior Airman Tyler Lang, 730th Air Mobility Squadron crew chief, hammers a hydraulic support jack into place on a C-5M Super Galaxy during a firefighting ground training event at Yokota Air Base Japan, Sept. 16, 2021. The fuselage of larger aircraft is often supported by a type of brace or jack while parked on the ground. This action helps keep the aircraft balanced while moving cargo or passengers, as well as performing maintenance functions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Lackey)

YOKOTA AIR BASE, JAPAN --

There’s no mistaking the sight and sound of the largest aircraft in the U.S. Air Force fleet. It dominates by providing the heaviest intercontinental-range strategic airlift capability, but consistent training across multiple specialties is necessary to keep these giants employed globally and mission ready.

Yokota Airmen from maintenance, ground crew, the fire department and more, all participated in an annual C-5M Super Galaxy ground training event on the base flight line from Sept. 6-17 to familiarize themselves with the uniquely colossal aircraft.

As the primary mobility hub in the Indo-Pacific, Yokota regularly provides refueling and maintenance support to hundreds of transient aircraft annually, to include the occasional Super Galaxy.

“The C-5M is very big and heavy, so it endures considerable strain over time compared to smaller aircraft,” said Senior Airman Hunter Dunn, 730th Air Mobility Squadron crew chief. “During times of high demand for servicing aircraft, we need Airmen that are familiar with C-5M maintenance, to prevent repair delays.”

Nothing about the aircraft was spared scrutiny. Trainers ran day and night instructionals on everything from engines and electrical systems, to refueling and changing tires.

“We don’t have the C-5M here, but we execute a massive transient aircraft mission,” said Staff Sgt. Lance Nabors, 730th AMS aircraft hydraulic systems craftsman. “We make the most of events like this to certify our people on non-local aircraft to ensure we can support the diversity of the Air Force fleet.”

The sheer size of this plane means more to work with. The C-5M sports five sets of landing gear, 28 wheels, four engines, a wingspan of over 220 feet, a length of almost 250 feet and a cargo bay that can easily carry two M1A1 Abrams Battle Tanks plus crew and gear.

“This beast is a workhorse,” said Master Sgt. Robert Maughan, 730th AMS production superintendent. “When it’s fully-loaded and doing the mission, it’s a sight to behold. When the C-5M, or any aircraft we’ve worked on, takes-off down the runway, we know all the work our Airmen put into making that happen and it provides a great sense of accomplishment knowing we’re crucial in making the mission happen.”