Air Force Reserve unit honors 75th anniversary

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman John Rossi
  • 512th Airlift Wing

On Sept. 24, 2024, the 512th Airlift Wing, assigned to Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, is slated to celebrate its 75th anniversary of Air Force Reserve service.

“The Liberty Wing has a long and proud history,” said Maj. Gen. D. Scott Durham, 4th Air Force commander during a recent visit. “It represents that Northeastern determination to get the job done. That culture still comes through here at the 512th.”

Tracing its lineage to Sept. 2, 1949, the wing was originally activated as the 512th Troop Carrier Wing in Reading, Pennsylvania. It’s believed that due to the 512th’s proximity to the Liberty Bell, it was nicknamed the Liberty Wing, and went on to adopt the motto “Liberty Strong!”

After adapting to a handful of location changes, including a stint in Texas, the 512th AW landed at Dover AFB in 1973. At Dover, the wing began flying the C-5 Galaxy aircraft as its sole mission. The 512th AW introduced the C-17 Globemaster III aircraft in 2007 and the C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft in 2010. 

Over the decades, the Liberty Wing has deployed forces and cargo delivery capabilities worldwide, supporting combat and humanitarian missions alike. Notably, the 512th AW fulfilled several missions during global conflicts in Korea, Vietnam, and the Cuban Missile Crisis, as well as operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and Inherent Resolve. Liberty Wing reservists have provided aid around the world, such as relief for victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and victims of an earthquake in Nepal in 2015.

“Since its inception, the 512th AW has been a foundational partner in operations at Dover Air Force Base,” said Chief Master Sgt. Bryan Ford, 512th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron senior enlisted leader. “The combined strength of the Eagle and Liberty wings has been on display for decades, and we are postured for success for many more decades to come.”

This year, the 512th is commemorating the 75th anniversary by unveiling a new heritage emblem which is approved for wear as a morale patch.

According to the Air Force dress and appearance instruction, the wear of morale patches on the right sleeve of the occupational camouflage pattern uniform is authorized during weekend drills on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday or during special events.

By displaying the new emblem on their uniform or in their workplace, wing Airmen honor the wing’s legacy while building its future.

“Every Liberty Wing member, past and present, has shared their time and talent in the service of our nation.” said Ford. “For 75 years, our collective actions have woven a tapestry of service, dedication and commitment to the ideals of what it is to be a Reserve Citizen Airman. We have been and always will be masters of the globe.”