DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. --
Each year, thousands of flights carrying millions of pounds of cargo and personnel leave Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, to locations all around the globe. The 436th Mission Generation Group Plans and Scheduling section is essential to keeping Team Dover’s fleet of aircraft flying smoothly and safely.
“Not a lot of people even know what we do, but we’re involved in a lot.” said Tech Sgt. Ethan Reterstoff, 436th MGG noncommissioned officer in charge of scheduling. “Our small section builds and compiles the daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly flying and maintenance schedules for both flying squadrons stationed at Dover AFB.”
The Plans and Scheduling team oversees a total of 18 C-5M Super Galaxies and 13 C-17 Globemaster IIIs from the 9th Airlift Squadron and 3rd AS, respectively. In the last year, the section scheduled 830 missions, over 200 off-station trainers, 716 sorties and more than 3,500 flight hours. Missions range from supporting security assistance to Ukraine, to presidential support, to providing rapid global airlift to the Joint Force.
Each day offers the section new and unique challenges but each member of the team stands ready to ensure the success of the Air Force’s first MGG and the 436th Airlift Wing.
“Almost every plan fails; you have to constantly think on your feet and have a plan B, C and D,” said Reterstoff. “Being a successful member of the Plans and Scheduling section requires thinking on your feet. With so many different sections required to successfully fly or maintain even a single aircraft, patience and communication are paramount.”
The Plans and Scheduling section falls directly under the 436th MGG, placing them in ideal working alignment with all the maintenance squadrons. Every training or operational flight as well as any scheduled or emergency maintenance performed on Dover AFB’s aircraft is coordinated through the Plans and Scheduling office.
“Not a single mission could be generated on Dover AFB without the Plans and Scheduling section,” said Col. Bary Flack, 436th MGG commander. “Their ability to adjust to daily challenges, maintain a rigorous schedule and properly coordinate across all agencies is what keeps us ready to provide rapid global mobility.”