512th Airlift Wing

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512th Airlift Wing
C-17 Globemaster III of the 436th and 512th Airlift Wings
Active 1949–1951; 1952–1971; 1973–present
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Role Airlift
Part of Air Force Reserve Command
Garrison/HQ Dover Air Force Base
Nickname(s) Liberty Wing
Motto Masters of the Globe
Decorations Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm
512th Airlift Wing emblem (Approved 21 December 1993)[1][note 1] 512th Airlift Wing.png
512th Troop Carrier Wing Emblem (Approved 26 May 1957)[2][3] 512th Troop Carrier Wing Emblem.png

The 512th Airlift Wing, an associate Air Force Reserve unit is located at Dover AFB, Delaware. The 512 AW helps maintain, repair and flies the same aircraft as its active duty counterparts. Members of the 512 AW work side-by-side with members of the 436th Airlift Wing (436 AW) in fulfilling the mission, maintaining and flying the C-5, and working together to form the "Dover Team".

As one of only two Air Force Reserve Associate units flying the C-5, the 512 AW has a unique role in the Air Force. The first C-5 all-reserve aircrew flew out of Dover AFB November 1973.


Recruit, train, equip and retain a qualified force to augment major commands with people and units to support strategic aircraft during peace and war.


The 512th Airlift Wing traces its origins to the 512th Troop Carrier Wing, Medium, 4 August 1949. Reading Municipal Airport, Pennsylvania, housed the Wing just short of a year before it was transferred to New Castle County Airport, Delaware, in April 1950. In March of the following year the Wing mobilized for the first time for the Korean War, but was inactivated two weeks later 1 April 1951.

In June 1952, the 512th Troop Carrier Wing was again activated in the Reserve and stationed at New Castle County Airport. 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 was transferred to Willow Grove Air Reserve Station, Pennsylvania, in July 1958. While at NAS Willow Grove, the Cuban Missile Crisis thrust the Wing into active service for one month, beginning 28 October 1962.

The 512th Troop Carrier Wing, (Medium), was redesignated the 512th Troop Carrier Wing in January 1965. That same month the Wing was transferred without personnel or equipment to Carswell Air Force Base, Texas. Aircrews conducted training and airlift operations in C-124 Globemasters. While stationed at Carswell AFB, two more name changes occurred: 1 December 1965, the Wing was redesignated the 512th Transportation Wing, (Heavy), and on 1 January 1966, was redesignated the 512th Military Airlift Wing. On 29 June 1971, the Wing was inactivated for a second time.

On 29 January 1973 the wing was redesignated the 512th Military Airlift Wing (Associate) and activated in the Reserve on 1 July 1973 at Dover AFB, Delaware flying the C-5A Galaxy aircraft. Upon activation at Dover AFB, the 512 AW absorbed the personnel of the 912th Military Airlift Group (Associate) stationed at Dover AFB.The 912th Military Airlift Group (Associate) previously assigned to the 514th Military Airlift Wing, McGuire AFB, New Jersey, for administrative support, but stationed and operated at Willow Grove ARS, PA. The 912th Military Airlift group moved from Willow Grove ARS 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. The wing was redesignated the 512th Airlift Wing on 1 October 1994.

Many missions have been flown by the Citizen Airman of the 512th Airlift Wing. Over 1,300 members of the 512th were recalled to active duty during Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Fliers, Maintenance Specialists, Aerial Porters, Medical Personnel, and Security Police were deployed around the world as well as stateside for more than a year. In 2007, the Wing began a new era in airlift when the 326th Airlift Squadron began flying the C-17 Globemaster III aircraft when it received their first C-17 on 31 May 2007.

On 26 April, 2015, the wing and its associated 436th Airlift Wing dispatched the first USAF aircraft, a Dover C-17, carrying cargo and personnel for humanitarian aid following the earthquake in Nepal. The plane carried a United States Agency for International Development Disaster Assistance Response Team, the Fairfax County, Virginia Urban Search and Rescue Team and 45 tons of cargo.[4]


  • Established as the 512th Troop Carrier Wing, Medium on 4 August 1949
Activated in the Reserve on 2 September 1949
Ordered to active service on 15 March 1951
Inactivated on 1 April 1951
Activated in the Reserve on 14 June 1952
Ordered to active service on 28 October 1962
Relieved from active duty on 28 November 1962
Redesignated: 512th Troop Carrier Wing, Heavy on 8 Janusary 1965
Redesignated: 512th Air Transport Wing, Heavy on 1 December 1965
Redesignated: 512th Military Airlift Wing on 1 January 1966
Inactivated on 29 June 1971
  • Redesignated 512th Military Airlift Wing (Associate) on 29 January 1973
Activated in the Reserve on 1 July 1973
Redesignated: 512th Airlift Wing (Associate) on 1 February 1992
Redesignated: 512th Airlift Wing on 1 October 1994[1]


  • Ninth Air Force, 2 Sep 1949
  • First Air Force, 1 Aug 1950 – 1 Apr 1951
  • 1 Air Reserve District, 14 Jun 1952
  • First Air Force, 14 Jan 1954
  • Fourteenth Air Force, 25 Mar 1958
  • Second Air Force Reserve Region, 15 Aug 1960
  • Ninth Air Force, 28 Oct 1962
  • Second Air Force Reserve Region, 28 Nov 1962
  • Fourth Air Force Reserve Region, 8 Jan 1965
  • Central Air Force Reserve Region, 31 Dec 1969 – 29 Jun 1971
  • Eastern Air Force Reserve Region, 1 Jul 1973
  • Fourteenth Air Force, 8 Oct 1976
  • Twenty-Second Air Force, 1 Jul 1993 – present[1]






See also



  1. This emblem was approved for the wing on 23 July 1973. The 1993 emblem is identical with the elements transposed from left to right.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Haulmann, Daniel L. (January 2, 2008). "Factsheet 512 Airlift Wing (AFRC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved May 7, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Ravenstein, pp. 278-279
  3. Maurer, Combat Units, pp. 20-21
  4. "AF sends aircraft to support disaster-assistance operations in Nepal". Air Force News Service. April 26, 2015. Retrieved May 7, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

External links