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Air Force Featured Stories

Dover AFB reservists support nation’s counterdrug effort

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Zachary Cacicia
  • 512th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

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.