The 512th Airlift Wing, an associate C-5 Galaxy 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.
Col Randal L. Bright serves as the 512th Airlift Wing's commander.
- Established as 512th Troop Carrier Wing, Medium on 4 Aug 1949
- Activated in the Reserve on 2 Sep 1949
- Ordered to active service on 15 Mar 1951
- Inactivated on 1 Apr 1951
- Activated in the Reserve on 14 Jun 1952
- Ordered to active service on 28 Oct 1962
- Relieved from active duty on 28 Nov 1962
- Redesignated: 512th Troop Carrier Wing, Heavy on 8 Jan 1965
- Redesignated: 512th Air Transport Wing, Heavy on 1 Dec 1965
- Redesignated: 512th Military Airlift Wing on 1 Jan 1966
- Inactivated on 29 Jun 1971
- Redesignated 512th Military Airlift Wing (Associate) on 29 Jan 1973
- Activated in the Reserve on 1 Jul 1973
- Redesignated: 512th Airlift Wing (Associate) on 1 Feb 1992
- Redesignated: 512th Airlift Wing on 1 Oct 1994.
- 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
- 512th Troop Carrier (later, 512 Operations) Group: 2 Sep 1949 1 Apr 1951; 14 Jun 1952-14 Apr 1959; 1 Aug 1992 present
- 912th Troop Carrier Group: 11 Feb 1963 8 Jan 1965
- 913th Troop Carrier Group: 11 Feb 1963 8 Jan 1965
- 914th Troop Carrier Group: 11 Feb 1963 1 Jan 1964
- 916th Military Airlift Group: 8 Jan 1965 21 Apr 1971 (detached 1 21 Apr 1971)
- 917th Military Airlift Group: 5 Feb 1965 21 Apr 1971 (detached 1 21 Apr 1971)
- 937th Military Airlift Group: 5 Feb 1965 21 Apr 1971 (detached 1 21 Apr 1971).
- 326th Military Airlift Squadron: 14 Apr 1959 11 Feb 1963; 1 Jul 1973-1 Aug 1992
- 327th Troop Carrier Squadron: 14 Apr 1959 11 Feb 1963
- 328th Troop Carrier Squadron: 14 Apr 1959 11 Feb 1963
- 709th Military Airlift Squadron: 1 Oct 1973 1 Aug 1992.
- Reading Municipal Airport, Pennsylvania, 2 Sep 1949
- New Castle County Airport, Delaware, 12 Apr 1950 1 Apr 1951; 14 Jun 1952
- U.S. Naval Air Station Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, 20 Jul 1958
Carswell AFB, Texas, 8 Jan 1965 29 Jun 1971
Dover AFB, Delaware, 1 Jul 1973 present
- AT-7, AT-11, and C-46 Commando, 1949 1951
- C-46 Commando, 1952 1957
- C-119 Flying Boxcar, 1957 1965
- C-124 Globemaster II, 1965 1971
C-141 Starlifter, 1973
- C-5 Galaxy, 1973 present