Operations Group on display

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jacob Morgan
  • 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
A community relations program at Dover Air Force Base, Del., held its annual flight for more than 25 members of the local community April 13.

The Honorary Commanders Program pairs commanders from the 436th Airlift Wing, the 512th Airlift Wing and the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operation, with civic leaders from the community. The community members include government officials, local business professionals and medical professionals.

"It is just super to have such outstanding support from our honorary commanders," said Col. Joan Garbutt, 436th Mission Support Group commander.

This year, the honorary commanders were treated to a C-17 Globemaster III flight with the 3rd Airlift Squadron, a tour of a C-5M Super Galaxy and several base operations facilities.

Col. David Hafer, 436th Operations Group commander, began the morning with a C-17 air-medical-evacuation story. After the story, Col. Mark Camerer, 436 AW commander, and Col. Randal Bright, 512 AW commander, gave thanks to the community leaders. The group of 25 members were then taken to the flightline where they boarded a C-17.

The flight lasted more than two hours and went through aerial refueling and a combat offload. Each honorary commander rotated through the cockpit to see a KC-135 Stratotanker flying 12 feet away.

Tech. Sgt. Arcenio Santiago, 3 AS loadmaster, said he was proud to be taking the local community members up on the flight.

"It was enjoyable for me because I get to see that the community members appreciate what I do," said Sergeant Santiago. "In turn, I get to show them a little bit about our mission.

Once the flight ended, the honorary commanders went directly to a C-5M, so they could see the variety of airframes Dover AFB operates. Shortly after, the honorary commanders saw a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes flightline operations at the control tower and base operations.

The day lasted from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m.; a full day of Dover AFB operations.

"The tour, flight and people of Dover AFB are wonderful. For all the years I have lived in Dover I viewed the Air Force as a friend of the community but after yesterday that is no longer the condition. The AF is now part of my family," said Mrs. Peggy Bell, Delaware Criminal Justice Information System executive director and Colonel Garbutt's honorary commander. "The young men and women are a credit to the uniforms they wear. The senior officers are down-to-earth and treat people as they should be treated. I am proud to be part of the AF family."

"Peggy Bell brings energy and is a true community leader," said Colonel Garbutt. "We are lucky to have her in the 436 MSG family."