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Reserve Aeromedical Evacuation Medics Called to the Fight Against COVID-19

Medical personnel with the 433rd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron board a C-17 Globemaster III April 15, 2020 at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas.

Personnel with the 433rd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron board a C-17 Globemaster III April 15, 2020 at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. This group of 433rd AES personnel are part of nearly 100 Air Force Reserve Airmen deploying in support of COVID-19 patient movement. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Kristian Carter)

Staff Sgt. Cristina Tust and Tech. Sgt. Nolan Beihl, 34th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron aeromedical evacuation technicians, load a simulated patient onto a C-130 Hercules during an aeromedical training, April 6, 2020 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. Approximately 100 Air Force Reserve aeromedical evacuation specialists from across the country have been called up to help care for Americans affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Tiffany Lundberg)

Senior Airman Emilie Canlas, 36th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron aeromedical evacuation technician, reads over her checklist of assigned equipment April 9, 2020 at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. The call for aeromedical support came just days after the Air Force Reserve mobilized more than 120 medical personnel across the nation to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, to help with the fight against COVID-19 in New York City. The specific mission details of the aeromedical evacuation teams mobilizing today are still in coordination, but these Air Force Reservists can provide critical patient care at any location worldwide. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Christopher Carranza)

Senior Airman Emilie Canlas, 36th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron aeromedical evacuation technician, reads over her checklist of assigned equipment April 9, 2020 at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. The call for aeromedical support came just days after the Air Force Reserve mobilized more than 120 medical personnel across the nation to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, to help with the fight against COVID-19 in New York City. The specific mission details of the aeromedical evacuation teams mobilizing today are still in coordination, but these Air Force Reservists can provide critical patient care at any location worldwide. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Christopher Carranza)

Col. Jeffrey A. Van Dootingh, 403rd Wing commander, addresses approximately 10 Airmen with the 403rd Wing's 36th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron prior to their departure April 15, 2020. The Reserve Citizen Airmen were mobilized to support COVID-19 relief efforts. These reservists will provide life-saving in-flight patient care. (U.S. Air Force photo by Lt. Col. Marnee A.C. Losurdo)

Col. Jeffrey A. Van Dootingh, 403rd Wing commander, addresses approximately 10 Airmen with the 403rd Wing's 36th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron prior to their departure April 15, 2020. The Reserve Citizen Airmen were mobilized to support COVID-19 relief efforts. These reservists will provide life-saving in-flight patient care. (U.S. Air Force photo by Lt. Col. Marnee A.C. Losurdo)

Air Force Reserve Aeromedical Evacuation personnel check on a simulated patient.

Members of the 911th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron prepare to check a simulated patient’s heart rate during a training flight over the Atlantic Ocean, Dec. 14, 2019. Approximately 100 Air Force Reserve aeromedical evacuation specialists from across the country have been called up to help care for Americans affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. (U.S. Air Force photo by Joshua J. Seybert)

Master Sgt. Joseph Vergona, 911th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron medical technician, sets up a saline bag near Honolulu, Hawaii April 26, 2019. As a part of the 911th AES Vergona participated in ground training as well as in air training.(U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Grace Thomson)

Master Sgt. Joseph Vergona, 911th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron medical technician, sets up a saline bag near Honolulu, Hawaii April 26, 2019. Approximately 100 Air Force Reserve aeromedical evacuation specialists from across the country have been called up to help care for Americans affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Grace Thomson)

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Approximately 100 Air Force Reserve aeromedical evacuation specialists from across the country have been called up to help care for Americans affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Citizen Airmen will participate in the COVID-19 aeromedical evacuation hub that has been established at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, and will fly aeromedical evacuation, transportation isolation system and critical care missions in the nation or worldwide as needed.

These newly mobilized Reservists are part of the more than 500 Air Force Reserve members now mobilized around the U.S. in support of COVID-19 relief efforts. 

“Approximately 60% of America’s capability to provide global patient movement resides in the Air Force Reserve,” said Col. Beth Ann Spoon, AFRC chief of aeromedical evacuation. “Our flight nurses, technicians, critical care providers and support personnel are highly trained to take care of patients at altitude. They are consistently called upon to use this expertise for every disaster or major event that affects the United States.”

The request for support came from United States Transportation Command with Reserve Citizen Airmen in aeromedical evacuation squadrons around the nation now mobilized as the Department of Defense continues to fight the Corona virus outbreak in the United States. 

“Our Reserve Citizen Airmen are truly taking care of Americans,” said Lt. Gen. Richard Scobee, AFRC commander and chief of the Air Force Reserve. “Our level of effort is in support of what our nation needs. We remain ready to respond wherever our Reserve Airmen are needed most.” 

The primary mission for these AE Reservists is to provide lifesaving in-flight patient care in response to contingencies and humanitarian emergencies. These are specialized medical teams, consisting of flight nurses, aeromedical evacuation technicians, physicians and support personnel. These teams can operate on a number of U.S. Air Force aircraft including the C-130H/J, C-17 Globemaster III, KC-135R, KC-10 Extender and the C-5 Galaxy.

The call for aeromedical support came about a week and a half after the Air Force Reserve mobilized more than 120 ground medical personnel across the nation to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, to help with the fight against COVID-19 in New York City.  

As COVID-19 response requirements for more medical personnel, aeromedical evacuation capabilities, logistics experts and other specialties grow, the Air Force Reserve was granted the authority to activate the inactive Reserve, as needed, by the President’s March 27 Executive Order.

Airmen willing to volunteer for mobilization should contact their squadron commander, unit deployment manager, Readiness Integration Office Detachment, Functional Area Manager and if medical, email: HQAFRC.SG.AFRCPHEOs@us.af.mil, or Aeromedical Evacuation, email: afrc.hqa3tm@us.af.mil, to self-identify their availability. In the body of the e-mail please provide your name, rank, AFSC, assigned/attached unit, civilian email, address, phone number and if you are currently involved in COVID-19 response in your civilian job.

For additional questions and answers regarding mobilization of the Select Reserve and the IRR, visit the Q&A section at www.afrc.af.mil/covid-19.