Dover neighborhood welcomes returning C-5 aircraft

 

Moores Meadows neighbors work on a greeting for returning C-5 aircraft crews on Thursday afternoon. The Dover Air Force Base’s C-5 Super Galaxy fleet has been operating out of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey since awaiting the completion of runway renovations. (Delaware State News/Craig Anderson)

Moores Meadows neighbors work on a greeting for returning C-5 aircraft crews on Thursday afternoon. The Dover Air Force Base’s C-5 Super Galaxy fleet has been operating out of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey since awaiting the completion of runway renovations. (Delaware State News/Craig Anderson)

DOVER — Welcome.

Home.

AMC.

Some Moores Meadows neighbors spelled those words with lime in hope that returning C-5 aircraft crews will feel welcomed home when passing overhead.

Lee Sullenberger heard the aircraft could return to Dover Air Force Base today after several months stationed in New Jersey due to runway renovations limiting takeoff and landing space.

The former U.S. Army soldier understood feeling forgotten when stationed elsewhere, so he decided to create approximately 20 feet tall letters for words up to 100 feet long on the ground for the C-5s to hopefully notice from the air.

Lee Sullenberger spreads lime on a large welcome home message to returning C-5 aircraft crews on Thursday afternoon. (Delaware State News/Craig Anderson)

Lee Sullenberger spreads lime on a large welcome home message to returning C-5 aircraft crews on Thursday afternoon. (Delaware State News/Craig Anderson)

“I want to let them know we missed them,” Mr. Sullenberger said on Thursday. “The locals here are glad to see them return and we want to show them that.”

On Wednesday night, residents spelled out the welcome in a grassy area near JPS Drive in north Dover, but an overnight dew lightened it up too much to recognize it. The group did it again Thursday, trying to preserve the lime by covering it overnight.

“It’s still a work in progress,” Mr. Sullenberger said, noting that locating a drop spreader for the lime was the most difficult part of the project.

In an effort to save lime and space, the Air Mobility Command reference was shortened to AMC, Mr. Sullenberger said.

C-5 aircraft sometimes pass over the Moores Meadow neighborhood during touch and go exercises, Mr. Sullenberger said, making their absence noticeable.

The C-5 Super Galaxy fleet has been operating out of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, since February.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the renovated runways is scheduled for 10 a.m. today at DAFB.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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