Dover reservists support nation’s counterdrug effort

Amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a 512th Airlift Wing aircrew composed of Reserve Airmen airlifted counterdrug equipment out of Panama during the week of April 6.

The mission from Dover Air Force Base, supporting the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, involved hauling more than 100,000 pounds of cargo from Panama Pacifico International Airport, Panama, to San Angelo Regional Airport, Texas.

“It was a difficult mission because of all the moving parts and the constantly changing dynamics,” said Capt. Scott McCoy, 709th Airlift Squadron pilot and aircraft commander. “It was successful, because we had a crew of highly experienced people who went above and beyond to make sure the job got done.”

Loadmasters and DHS personnel filled the cargo compartment with 12 pallets and 11 rolling stock items that included mobile generators, trailers and surveillance equipment used to counter illicit drug trafficking throughout the region.

The 512th AW regularly participates in these operations with both its C-5M Super Galaxy and C-17 Globemaster III aircraft to deliver personnel and material for other government agencies, while receiving readiness training for its aircrew.

In addition to the primary mission of transporting cargo, three loadmasters and a flight engineer received and passed evaluation check-rides, ensuring their updated qualifications and readiness.

“With minimal on-ground support in Panama, these loadmasters successfully accomplished a difficult load in an efficient manner,” said Master Sgt. David Finfinger, 709th AS evaluator loadmaster.

Dover reservists support nation's counterdrug effort

A C-5M Super Galaxy operated by the 709th Airlift Squadron loads U.S. Department of Homeland Security equipment at Panama Pacificio International Airport, Panama, April 6, 2020. This 709th AS transported more than 100,000 pounds of cargo, including 12 pallets and 11 rolling stock to San Angelo Regional Airport, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Zachary Cacicia)

Dover reservists support nation's counterdrug effort

Tech. Sgt. Oy Maldonado, 709th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, martials a forklift toward a C-5M Super Galaxy’s front ramp at San Angelo Regional Airport, Texas, April 9, 2020. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Zachary Cacicia)

Dover reservists support nation's counterdrug effort

Tech. Sgt. Vasean Townsend, 709th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, spots a U.S. Department of Homeland Security Humvee as it backs out of a C-5M Super Galaxy’s front ramp at San Angelo Regional Airport, Texas, April 9, 2020. A reserve aircrew assigned to Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, supported the counterdrug mission and conducted readiness training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Zachary Cacicia)

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