Medical warriors are trained, ready for action

  • Published
  • By Col. Frank Zucconi
  • 701st Medical Squadron
As this great country of ours continues its War on Global Terrorism, the men and woman of the 301st Aerospace Medicine Squadron and the 701st Medical Squadron stand ready to provide outstanding comprehensive medical care to our men and woman during combat and peacetime. 

The Air Force Medical System (AFMS) has more than 220 different unit type codes (UTCs). Allow me to briefly, but succinctly explain what makes an Air Force person a medical asset. 

Enlisted individuals receive initial training and education with additional training in a specialized area of concentration. Officers are direct accessions within their professional area. Ultimately, all personnel must maintain annual currency within their specific area of expertise as well as 30 recurrent medical readiness training items, CBRNE and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. Additionally, all personnel must attend one week of Expeditionary Medical Support (EMEDS) training every four years. 

During the past three years the medical squadrons have deployed physicians, nurses, medical technicians, laboratory personnel, radiology technicians and physical therapists to the Area of Responsibility. These individuals have worked in the operating room, intensive care unit, medical-surgical ward, laboratory and physical therapy ward providing medical care to severely wounded individuals with life threatening injuries. Two radiology personnel have been deployed to Dover Air Force Base, Del., for identification of service person remains. 

Presently the two medical squadrons function independently, i.e. separate command staffs, training staffs and UTC missions. The 301st AMDS prime mission is to maintain and provide health screening to deploying wing personnel. The 701st MDS prime mission is to train deploying medical troops to provide medical care in the AOR. 

As the medical squadrons move into fiscal year 2008, they will merge into one, the 301st AMDS. There will be approximately 254 personnel in the merged squadron. The new squadron's mission will be dual in nature, one is to continue to provide for the required health screening for deploying personnel of the 301st Fighter Wing and the second requirement will be to continue the medical personnel's training enabling them to provide quality health care when deployed to the AOR. 

There are several advantages that come from merging the medical squadrons: significant cost benefit, elimination of duplicate services, improved utilization of personnel, a reduction in training time for unit members, and enhanced facility space utilization, elimination of two separate unit inspections and integration of Air Reserve Technicians -- a clear win-win situation for all wing and unit members. 

I hope this explanation has provided the 301st with a clear understanding and appreciation of the highly qualified and combat ready medical people who we call "Medical Warriors".
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