Dover AFB reservists airlift counterdrug equipment from Panama

14 April 2020 (Last Updated April 14th, 2020 16:41)

A team of reservists from the Dover Air Force Base has airlifted counterdrug equipment out of Panama in a special mission to support the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Dover AFB reservists airlift counterdrug equipment from Panama
A C-5M Super Galaxy operated by the 709th Airlift Squadron loads US Department of Homeland Security equipment at Panama Pacificio International Airport, Panama. Credit: USAF / Staff Sgt Zachary Cacicia.

A team of reservists from the Dover Air Force Base has airlifted counterdrug equipment out of Panama in a special mission to support the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The mission, conducted earlier this month, involved a 512th Airlift Wing (AW) aircrew composed of reserve airmen.

Overall, it hauled more than 100,000lb of cargo from Panama Pacifico International Airport, Panama, to San Angelo Regional Airport, Texas.

709th Airlift Squadron pilot and aircraft commander Captain Scott McCoy said: “It was a difficult mission because of all the moving parts and the constantly changing dynamics.

“It was successful, because we had a crew of highly experienced people who went above and beyond to make sure the job got done.”

In the mission, loadmasters and DHS personnel loaded 12 pallets and 11 rolling stock items. It included mobile generators, trailers and surveillance equipment, which are used to track to combat illicit drug trafficking across the region.

Additionally, three loadmasters and a flight engineer passed evaluation check-rides in the operation which affirms their readiness to operate in such circumstances.

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

The 512th AW is trained and experienced in participating in such operations. The unit uses its C-5M Super Galaxy and C-17 Globemaster III aircraft to transport personnel and material for other government agencies.