c5 galaxy case study

CLIENT:

Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex (WRALC), Warner Robins GA

PROCESS:

C-5 Galaxy Depot Level Maintenance

T
he C-5 Galaxy is the largest aircraft in the Air Force’s fleet. Some materials (e.g. large battle tanks, a scissors bridge) can only be transported by air via the C-5, and its capacity is such that, during peak periods of combat and/or humanitarian activity, this aircraft provides almost half of the U. S. Air Force air transport capability.

PROBLEM

Programmed Depot Maintenance for the C-5 is a major undertaking, involving ~70,000 part numbers and requiring ~50,000 work hours to complete. Before the start of the process improvement initiative, this maintenance required, on average, more than 320 days to complete. The Secretary of Defense put the WRALC on notice that, unless efficiency improved significantly, the Logistics Center would be closed and all maintenance work outsourced to a third party in the private sector.

SOLUTION

The Air Force launched a multi-faceted process improvement effort comprising business process re-engineering, training, enhanced communication and culture change leadership. SAI’s senior consultants played key roles in this effort, leading teams that analyzed and improved a diverse array of business processes, from avionics to training.

RESULTS

The C-5 improvement program generated major positive results for dozens of maintenance processes. Overall, the time required to perform Programmed Depot Maintenance was cut from 320 days to ~180 days, with significantly higher quality output.*

As a result, the Air Force gained $6 Billion of airlift capacity without purchasing a single aircraft.

NOTE

One of SAI’s senior consultants was the lead author of the Achievement Report documenting this process improvement program. It was given the first Shingo Prize Gold Award ever granted in the public sector in 2005.

*As measured by the percentage of aircraft passing the Functional Check Flight on first attempt.

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