Air Force partners with C-5 System Program Office, Delta and Georgia Tech

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  • Robins Public Affairs

The C-5 System Program Office and the Air Force Rapid Sustainment Office has kicked off a new partnership with Delta Air Lines and the Georgia Institute of Technology with an intensive three-day workshop hosted by the Georgia Tech Research Institute in Warner Robins.

The workshop performed a deep dive into current C-5 maintenance practices and brought together experts in reliability engineering, maintenance operations, fleet management, software development and predictive maintenance from Delta TechOps division and the C-5 sustainment enterprise.

The meeting was the first step in a six-month sprint activity to deliver recommendations for modernizing aircraft maintenance and reliability processes across the Air Force, based on Delta’s innovative processes.

Jack Arehart, president of MRO Services at Delta, said Delta TechOps has a long standing history of supporting various commercial derivative platforms including the C-40, C-32, and the P-8.

This expansion into helping identify where best commercial practices could be incorporated into Air Force operations review is exciting.

The Air Force Rapid Sustainment Office, or AF RSO, was established by the Secretary of the Air Force to leverage mature, new and emerging technology to reduce sustainment costs and improve readiness through collaborations across industry, academia, and the federal government.

The C-5 SPO, Delta and Georgia Tech collaboration has already demonstrated hallmarks of this new partnership by using existing agreements between the organizations and agile contracting principles on the part of the C-5 SPO to award a contract in less than two weeks.

The C-5 Galaxy platform has 52 aircraft with decades of reliability, maintenance and operational history.

That history makes it an ideal candidate for analyzing and identifying the differences between the Air Force and Delta in terms of how collected information is used to inform maintenance decisions.

Delta has developed a robust aircraft reliability program, which is enabled by an advanced set of tools along with a strong corporate culture of continuous improvement. Over the past 10 years, Delta has realized step function improvements in maintenance completion metrics. 

The applied research division of Georgia Tech, GTRI, has honed expertise in software development and the high performance computing tools, which are essential to designing a modern,  analytics-based maintenance program on a large-scale implementation – a benefit that impacts the entire Air Force fleet.