Dover Air Force Base is located in the "First State," and the center of the Delmarva - Delaware, Maryland and Virginia - Peninsula. Dover AFB is home to the Department of Defense's largest aerial port and nearly 9,000 Airmen and joint service members, civilians and families. Its personnel are responsible for global airlift aboard assigned C-5M Super Galaxy and C-17 Globemaster III aircraft. Additionally, the 436th Airlift Wing serves as host for key partners such as the Air Force Reserve's 512th Airlift Wing, the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations (AFMAO), the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System (AFMES) and the Joint Personal Effects Depot (JPED), jointly responsible for the dignified return of fallen American service members.
The 436th AW, also known as the "Eagle Wing," is comprised of more than 4,000 active duty Airmen, and answers to the 18th Air Force and Air Mobility Command, both located at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. The wing owns, maintains and operates C-5M Super Galaxy and C-17 Globemaster III aircraft.
The 512th AW, also known as the "Liberty Wing," is the Air Force Reserve unit assigned to Dover AFB. The wing assists with maintenance and operation of the C-5M and C-17 aircraft assigned to the 436th AW.
The 436th and 512th AWs fly hundreds of missions throughout the world providing movement of outsized cargo and personnel on scheduled, special assignment, exercise and contingency airlift missions. Together, they account for 20 percent of the nation's strategic outsized airlift capability, projecting global reach to more than 100 countries.
AFMAO is charged with fulfilling the nation's sacred commitment of ensuring dignity, honor and respect to the fallen and care, service and support to their families. A solemn dignified transfer of remains is conducted upon arrival at Dover AFB from the aircraft to a transfer vehicle to honor those who have given their lives in the service of the country. The vehicle then moves the fallen to the Port Mortuary at the Charles C. Carson Center for Mortuary Affairs. Once positively identified, fallen service members are prepared for transport to their final destination as determined by the family.
AFMES provides the DOD and other federal agencies comprehensive forensic investigative services, to include forensic pathology, DNA forensics, forensic toxicology and medical mortality surveillance. AFMES is not only the single worldwide medical examiner system, but it also supports the entire U.S. federal government.
JPED provides care and support to families and loved ones attending dignified transfers and processes all personal effects of service members from all branches, as well as DOD civilians and contractors killed within theater operations. The only organization of its kind in the DOD, JPED pioneered and advanced the care and handling of personal effects to ensure they are delivered to the Person Eligible to Receive Effects in a presentable and timely manner.
Together these units are referred to as Team Dover due to their cooperative mission requirements.
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The C-5M Super Galaxy is a strategic transport aircraft and is the largest aircraft in the U.S. Air Force inventory. Its primary mission is to transport cargo and personnel for the Department of Defense. The C-5M is a modernized version of the legacy C-5 designed and manufactured by Lockheed Martin. Currently, the U.S. Air Force owns and operates 52 C-5B/C/M aircraft. Due to the nose and aft cargo doors, ground crews can simultaneously load and offload cargo from both ends, reducing transfer times. The full-width drive-on ramps at each end enable double rows of vehicles to be transported.
C-5M Super Galaxy Factsheet
The C-17 Globemaster III is the most flexible cargo aircraft to enter the airlift force. The C-17 is capable of rapid strategic delivery of troops and all types of cargo to main operating bases or directly to forward bases in the deployment area. The aircraft can perform tactical airlift and airdrop missions and can transport litters of ambulatory patients during aeromedical evacuations. The inherent flexibility and performance of the C-17 force improve the ability of the total airlift system to fulfil the worldwide air mobility requirements of the United States.
C-17 Globemaster Factsheet