Last Wednesday, Col. Thomas K. Smith, Jr, Commander, and other members of the 433rd Airlift Wing at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland hosted the Chamber’s Military Affairs Council for a tour and mission brief. The 433rd Airlift Wing, also known as the “Alamo Wing” is an Air Force Reserve unit with approximately 3,400 members. The 433rd AW’s flying squadron is the 68th Airlift Squadron, and the first Air Force Reserve squadron to fly its own C-5A Galaxy aircraft. The world’s second largest aircraft, the C-5M is coming soon and is designed to provide massive strategic airlift for deployment and supply of combat and support forces worldwide. It can carry unusually large and heavy cargo at intercontinental ranges at jet speeds.

More than 40 Military Affairs Council Members had the opportunity to board the new C-5M Super Galaxy, currently on loan from Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, tour the plane’s cockpit and crew quarters, as well as learn fascinating facts from airmen who specialize in training on this aircraft. After the tour, the MAC members attended a Mission Brief by Col. Gretchen M. Wiltse, Commander of the 433rd Maintenance Group, on the 433rd Mission, which is primarily training for mobilization in times of emergency, becoming active-duty components of Air Force Major Commands and helping to move valuable assets, service members and cargo to vital destinations around the globe. Over the years, the wing has flown many humanitarian relief missions to aid victims of natural disasters, the latest being Central American aid in the wake of Hurricane Mitch. The 433rd is poised to begin receiving their inventory of planes this summer and looks forward to continuing their important mission for the Air Force and including our Chamber Business Partners in their efforts.

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