Change integral part of Liberty Wing

  • Published
  • By Col. Randal L. Bright
  • 512th Airlift Wing commander
Change is an integral part of our Air Force, especially here at Dover. Recently, the Liberty Wing has seen many changes and more are yet to come.

Super Galaxy
Team Dover ushered in a new era of airlift as we welcomed the arrival of our first C-5M Super Galaxy to Dover Feb. 9. We had the honor of having Gen. Arthur J. Lichte, Air Mobility Command commander, deliver our new strategic airlifter. Attending the ceremony were all three of our Delaware Congressional Delegation as well as Lt. Gen. Charles E. Stenner Jr., Air Force Reserve Command commander and Chief of the Air Force Reserve. We welcomed the Spirit of Global Reach with much deserved pageantry, as it will provide new airlift capabilities for the Air Force. This is a faster, stronger and safer aircraft, which truly lives up to its title: Super Galaxy. 

By the end of February we will have acquired our second C-5M. Our air and maintenance crews will be well into the Operational Test and Evaluation process for validating the Reliability Enhancement and Re-engining Program for the C-5Bs. This September, we are scheduled to receive our third C-5M, completing the surge process of the OT&E. Within a couple of years, we will have all of our C-5s converted to Super Galaxies. This is a historic time for Team Dover and this added capability further demonstrates what we bring to Global Reach.

Upcoming Inspections
We are down to the wire for our upcoming inspections April 23 to 28. The wing is preparing for the Unit Compliance Inspection; Maintenance is well on their way to being prepared for their Maintenance Standardization Evaluation Program; and, the Aerospace Medicine Squadron is down to finalizing their preparation for the Health Services Inspection. 

Inspectors will interact with wing members, talk to them about their jobs, and take a hard look at the wing's key processes, procedures, and requirements based on by-law requirements, executive orders, Department of Defense directives, and Air Force and AF Reserve Command instructions. Inspections keep us accountable by identifying areas in need of improvement and requiring wing members to correct those areas. Please remember, you do not have to be interviewed by an inspector to participate in the inspection. Our visitors will be assessing our customs and courtesies, as well as dress and appearance. Get a wingman and make sure that you both are good to go; it takes all of us to make sure Team Dover and our wing excel.

New leadership
In addition to preparing for inspections, our wing is undergoing some leadership changes this unit training assembly. 

We will welcome Col. Karl Schmitkons, 302nd Operations Group commander, Peterson Air Force Base, Col., during an assumption of command ceremony March 8. Colonel Schmitkons will begin full time here as the 512th Operations Group commander March 29. 

Also joining us is Maj. Beth Bruker-Walos, 911th Services Squadron services officer, Air Reserve Station, Pittsburgh International Airport, Pa., who is assuming command of the 512th Memorial Affairs Squadron. She also served as a Services director as a civilian.
Colonel Schmitkons and Major Bruker-Walos are bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge to our team.

Commanders Calls
Lastly, modifications are being made in the conduct of some of our official functions.
Wing commander's calls will focus more on what is on your mind. These are your commander's calls. I am asking for your input so I can provide you with the information you need. Please submit your questions or items you'd like to hear more about to your first sergeants who will provide them to the command chief. I will do my best to address your items of interest in these commander's calls. 

Also, in the past we have recognized wing award winners during the wing commanders calls. We are in the initial stages of planning the first 512th Airlift Wing Awards Banquet so we can recognize these outstanding performers in a more formal setting. Refer to the Liberty Press for information on this upcoming banquet. 

Amid all the alterations we will be undergoing, don't forget our core value of excellence in all we do. Continue the excellent job you are doing and look for ways to improve.
Again, thank you for the service that you provide for our nation, and I am honored to be your commander.