Still flying: Joint Base Charleston implements mobile medical screenings to keep missions flying
By Lt. Col. Wayne Capps, 315th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 23, 2020
JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. --
As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps through the U.S., Joint Base Charleston is able to keep their C-17 Globemaster III’s flying by implementing a medical screening process for aircrew members.
Aircrew members from the 437th and 315th Airlift Wings will now receive prevention education before each mission and will receive a COVID-19 medical screening upon return.
“We set up a mobile screening tent near our flying squadrons,” said Lt. Col. Natalie Riley, physician assistant with the 315th Aerospace Medicine Squadron. “When our crewmembers arrive for their pre-mission briefing, we spend time educating them in order to minimize the spread of the virus, and to focus on preparedness and prevention, based on CDC guidelines.”
Each aircrew is also provided with a disinfectant and protective equipment kit. The kits includes sanitizer, masks, gloves, thermometers, alcohol wipes and more.
Also, according to Riley, the post-mission screening process is designed to identify potential symptoms of the COVID-19 virus before they are exposed to the base and community.
“This is not just about just taking care of our aircrew members. This is about taking care of our coworkers, families and the community that we live in,” said Col. Adam Willis, 315 AW commander. “While most of the world is shut down, we still have a mission to do and we rely heavily on our aircrew members to carry out that mission.”
The screening process is being managed by the 315 AMDS and is outside of the normal medical screening received by Air Force aircrew members. Willis added, “We saw a need and our reservists stepped up to make this happen for both wings.”