Total Force Dover Airmen inspire future leaders

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Faith Barron
  • 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Total Force Airmen from Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, flew a C-5M Super Galaxy to Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado, Sept. 30 to Oct. 2, 2022 for outreach events with cadets from the U.S. Air Force Academy, USAFA Preparatory School and local families.

In addition to giving a tour of the C-5, the crew members briefed the cadets and family members about science, technology, engineering and mathematics career opportunities in the Air Force spanning over six different Air Force Specialty Codes from both the officer and enlisted corps. 

“We were able to talk to cadets and say ‘this is one of our aircraft, this is what a crew looks like and this is how we work together,’” said Master Sgt. Monica Allen, 512th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron flying crew chief. “Not many people get to see this side of what we do.” 

The female-dominated, diverse crew consisted of Airmen from the 436th Airlift Wing and the 512th AW, including three academy alumni.

Allen reflected that the mission felt like any other crew, and it just so happened that most of the crew was female. 

As the only female aircraft commander from her squadron and an academy alumni, Capt. Ashlen Bible, 9th Airlift Squadron aircraft commander, was able to relate to the female cadets while inspiring them to realize their full potential.

“There is a lot of untapped and unrealized potential across the cadet wing and throughout our communities,” said Bible. “In particular, if young women and girls can’t see their potential through role models in the industry, they themselves are less likely to pursue that path. By bringing a variety of female aviators and crew members to Colorado, we were able to show the feasibility of attaining a young woman’s dream.”

Capt. Ann Marie Acevedo, 9th AS pilot and academy alumni, explained how important it was to her to be a role model for female aviators. 

“I’ve always believed the idea of ‘you can’t be what you can’t see’ and for many of the cadets we spoke to, it was not only the first time they have seen a C-5, but also the first time seeing such a [primarily] female crew,” said Acevedo.

In total, more than 175 cadets and family members were able to experience the mission of Dover AFB and learn more about both active duty and reservist lifestyles.The aircrew inspired future aviators and provided invaluable mentorship, especially for female cadets.

“My goal is always to inspire future leaders, future aviators and particularly future female pilots,” said Bible. “Anytime we have an opportunity to represent our career field and to teach others about our mission, we should embrace that chance.”