512th Airlift Wing


Wing Mission: Provide Citizen Airmen for Global Engagement

Wing Motto: Liberty Strong!

The 512th Airlift Wing, located at Dover Air Force Base, Del., is commanded by Col. Craig C. Peters and is the only Air Force Reserve unit in the state. Also known as the "Liberty Wing," the 512th AW is a subordinate unit of 4th Air Force, headquartered at March Air Reserve Base, Calif., and Air Force Reserve Command, headquartered at Robins Air Force Base, Ga. The Liberty Wing consists of operations, maintenance and mission support groups, encompassing 16 units which including a medical squadron and a geographically separated unit at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. The more than 1,600-person wing's command chief master sergeant is Chief Master Sgt. Shirley C. Ozio.

The 512th AW mission is delivering airlift, anytime, anywhere. The 512th AW provides integrated support in the forms of aircrews, maintenance, aerial port and allied administrative support allowing full use of the C-5M Super Galaxy and C-17 Globemaster III under all conditions, up to and including full mobilization. The 512th AW vision is, “Develop a Wing of Agile Airmen that Maximizes Global Mobility and Airlift.”


C-5M Aircraft

The 512th AW maintains and flies one of the world's largest transport aircraft, the C-5M Super Galaxy. The C-5s, flown by the 512th AW, are assigned to the Air Mobility Command's 436th AW, the active-duty host at Dover AFB. The C-5 stretches almost the length of a football field and stands as high as a six-story building. The cargo compartment is 121 feet long, 19 feet wide, and 13.5 feet high.


C-17 Aircraft

The 512th AW also maintains and flies the Air Force's newest cargo aircraft, the C-17 Globemaster III. The C-17s are also assigned to the Air Mobility Command's 436th AW. The C-17 is capable of rapid strategic delivery of troops and all types of cargo to main operating bases or directly to forward bases in the deployment area. The inherent flexibility and performance of the C-17 airframe improves the ability of the total airlift system to fulfill the worldwide air mobility requirements of the United States.



The wing has more than 1,600 reservists assigned. Air Reserve Technicians, commonly referred to as ARTs, are the nucleus of the wing. They provide management continuity, equipment, maintenance and training support to keep the units combat ready. ARTs carry dual status, a full-time civil service employee for the Air Force, who as a condition of employment, must participate as a reservist. More than 170 ARTs and 36 civilians support the Liberty Wing in day-to-day operations.


Reserve Associate Concept

The Liberty Wing is a Reserve associate unit. The associate program meshes active-duty and Reserve units. The 512th AW uses the active-duty host aircraft and equipment for training. Members of the 512th AW work side-by-side with members of the 436th AW, also known as the "Eagle Wing," in fulfilling the mission, maintaining and flying the C-5M Super Galaxy and the C-17 Globemaster III. Working together, they form "Team Dover."


Unit Training Assemblies

Unit training assemblies are typically scheduled the first weekend of the month but can vary to better meet the needs of the training mission. Reservists who live more than 50 miles from the base are either lodged on base or in hotels nearby.

The 512th AW began as the 512th Troop Carrier Wing Medium Aug. 4, 1949. Reading Municipal Airport, Pa., housed the wing just short of a year before it was moved to the New Castle County Airport, Del., in April 1950. In March of the following year, the wing mobilized for the first time to help meet Air Force world-wide commitments. The mobilization was short lived. Two weeks after the call to active duty, the 512th was demobilized and inactivated April 1, 1951. In June 1952, the 512th returned to Reserve status again at New Castle County Airport, Del. 512th aircrews flew C-46 Commandos throughout the periods of Reserve and active status. In 1957, the wing converted to C-119 Flying Boxcars. After that transition, the wing moved to the U.S. Naval Station at Willow Grove, Pa., in July 1958. While at Willow Grove, the Cuban Missile Crisis thrust the wing into active service for a month, beginning Oct. 28, 1962.


The 512th Troop Carrier Wing Medium had its name changed to the 512th Troop Carrier Wing in January 1965. That same month the wing moved to Carswell AFB, Texas. Aircrews conducted training and airlift operations in C-124 Globemasters. While based at Carswell AFB, two more name changes occurred. On Dec. 1, 1965, the wing became the 512th Transportation Wing Heavy; and, on Jan. 1, 1966, the name changed to the 512th Military Airlift Wing. In June 1971, the wing was once again inactivated. About two years later in July 1973, the 512th MAW reactivated as an associate unit at Dover AFB, Del., where the wing flew the C-5A Galaxy aircraft and absorbed the personnel of the 912th Military Airlift Group (Associate) stationed at Dover AFB.


The 912th MAG (Associate), previously assigned to the 514th Military Airlift Wing at McGuire AFB, N.J., moved from Willow Grove Naval Station to Dover AFB in September 1968. Equipped with C-141 Starlifter aircraft, the 912th became the third associate group in the Air Force Reserve to fly the C-141. Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm became the focal point of airlift support in 1990, when the wing's two flying squadrons, the 326th and 709th Airlift Squadrons were recalled to active duty. Also supporting the conflict, were 232 maintenance personnel. In February 1992, the wing was redesignated the 512th Airlift Wing as part of an Air Force-wide reorganization.


Following the terrorist attacks Sept. 11, 2001, more than 50 members of the wing's security forces squadron were recalled to active duty. Hundreds of other reservists volunteered to serve on orders to augment their active-duty counterparts. Maintainers, security forces, aerial porters, aircrew personnel and mortuary specialists worked not only here at Dover AFB but in locations around the world.


The 512th AW continues to support humanitarian airlift operations. In 2004 and 2005, Reserve crews from Dover AFB supported the Tsunami relief efforts in Indonesia and Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in the Gulf region. In 2007, the 512th began a new dual flying mission with the arrival of C-17s. 512th AW reservists deployed and supported humanitarian relief efforts following the Haitian earthquakes of 2010. A year later in 2011, the Reserve wing supported Operation Odyssey Dawn in Libya and finalized operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.


At the end of 2014, the 512th conducted record breaking retrograde missions. During the three-month retrograde mission, the 386th Air Expeditionary Group, a Total Force Integration including the 709th Airlift Squadron with the C-5M and the 326th AS with C-17, transported more than a combined 29 million pounds of total cargo.  On one flight during the retrograde, the 709th AS flew with 280,800 pounds of cargo, breaking the world record for heaviest amount of cargo flown in a single flight. TFI aircrews flew a total of 256 sorties, 1,648 passengers, and logged more than 1,557 flight hours while in the Area of Responsibility (AOR). In addition to the flight crews tasked, the 709th AS had a four person leadership package responsible for the entire retrograde mission for 60 days in Southwest Asia.

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(Current as of July 2017)