Reserve spouses take flight on C-17 Globemaster III

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Shayna Hodge
  • 512th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Military spouses of 512th Airlift Wing reservists took off into the mid-Atlantic skies during the wing’s spouse orientation flight on Aug. 5, 2023.

More than 20 spouses climbed aboard one of Dover Air Force Base’s Globemaster IIIs for an hour-long flight that traveled over the Eastern Seaboard.

The Reserve aimed to connect the spouses to Dover’s mission and was a part of the wing’s family day, which offered food, music and games for Airmen and their families to enjoy.

During the flight, the wing’s first since 2018, the aircrew invited each military spouse to sit in the flight deck of the C-17. With cell phone cameras in tow and smiles of awe, the spouses overlooked views from 30,000 feet in the air.

The aircraft is capable of rapidly delivering troops and a variety of cargo to main operating bases and deployment areas. Additionally, its design gives it the capability to operate in and out of short runways and austere airfields, carrying large payloads.

For Megan Skarosi, wife of 512th Maintenance Squadron’s Senior Master Sgt. Stephen Skarosi, sitting in the flight deck during the jet’s landing was the highlight of the flight.

“I just kept thinking, ‘I can’t believe this, I can’t believe this,” said Skarosi, a self-proclaimed aviation-lover. “I’ve been on several flight; but this one was the best, because I got to sit in the cockpit as the plane landed.”

The flight was a first for Lindsey Wright, the wife of Airman 1st Class Tyson Wright, 512th Contingency Response Squadron, who served in the Coast Guard before joining the Air Force Reserve.

“I loved the flight from start to finish,” she said. “I love experiencing new things, and my husband knew I’d want to fly when he learned about the opportunity. He immediately signed me up for the flight.”

Prior to takeoff, Col. Douglas Stouffer, 512th AW commander, Col. Brian Quinn, 512th AW vice commander and Chief Master Sgt. David Melby, 512th AW command chief, welcomed the spouses to Dover and thanked them for supporting their military members.

“We’re so excited to have you here,” said Stouffer. “Today, your eyes will be opened to what your spouses do and what they support.”

Melby emphasized Stouffer’s sentiments, adding how spouses contribute to mission success just as much as their military members do.

“Without you, we wouldn’t be able to serve like we do,” he said. “The support you give to your partners helps keep them going, which helps keep the mission going.”

Another wing leader, Lt. Col. Jason Pennypacker, 512th Operations Group interim commander, gave an overview of Dover’s mission and the 326th Airlift Squadron, which flew the mission.

Skarosi applauded the group for executing the flight, while also mentioning her thanks for the opportunities being a military spouse has afforded her.

“Without the Air Force in my life, I would never be able to do things like the spouse flights or meet so many spouses and military members that offer insight into their Air Force experiences. It’s all really amazing,” said Skarosi.