Health & Safety

June 8, 2012

56th DS sinks teeth into mission

Tags:
by Airman 1st Class Grace Lee
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Senior Airman Ana King, left, 56th Dental Squadron dental assistant, oversees the Navy Reservists’ dental assistant during an oral surgery May 2 at Selma, Ala. King was one of five Airmen who participated in Alabama Black Belt 2012. During this operation, her job was to assist and train the dental assistants from the Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve, Army Reserve and Navy Reserve.

More than 8,000 people in Alabama received free dental treatment from total and joint forces April 29 through May 12 as part of “Operation Alabama Black Belt 2012.”

Master Sgt. Lee Walton, 56th Dental Squadron flight chief of clinical dentistry, was one of the many who helped make this humanitarian mission possible.

“Alabama Black Belt 2012 is an opportunity to increase the quality of life of fellow Americans,” Walton said. “It also challenges our deployment skills and operational readiness.”

The ABB task force was comprised of Army Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Navy Reserve, National Guard and a few active-duty personnel, who provided medical, dental and civil engineering to the community.

Prior to the mission, Senior Master Sgt. Jodi Hildebrandt, 56th DS superintendent, wanted to get Thunderbolts from the 56th DS involved.

“I thought it would be outstanding if the 56th DS could support the mission in some way,” she said.

As a result, they put together a team of five Airmen.

“Walton was part of a five-man team that helped support the multi-service/interagency mission,” Hildebrandt said.

Walton’s role in the mission was to provide training to the dental technicians, along with one other Thunderbolt at the site in Demopolis, Ala., while the other three Airmen stayed at Selma, Ala.

According to Hildebrandt, the mission was twofold; they provided humanitarian and innovative readiness training.

The ABB mission not only benefited the medically underserved and economically depressed communities, it also helped military personnel conduct deployment and readiness training.

“Airmen from the 56th DS were able to use the skills and abilities the Air Force has given them to assist local communities,” Hildebrandt said. “They also provided skills training to other participants from our sister services.”

The communities weren’t the only ones who gained from the mission.

“Everyone involved got something out of it, not just the people in need of healthcare,” Walton said. “I had the opportunity to provide humanitarian health services to the American people.”

With the combined efforts of all the services involved, they met their goal.

“A total of 29,000 people were treated at the three sites,” he said. “Out of that number, 8,202 were dental patients, so we were extremely busy.”

Walton remembers one person in particular who also helped others who were in need.

“His name was Boston Collier, a local farmer; he helped a lot of poor people in town.” Walton said.

“Even though he was struggling, I thought it was great how he helped feed the locals with his crops.”

For Hildebrandt, it wasn’t just about providing dental care; it was also about touching the lives of others.

“I feel that the Airmen of the 56th DS reached out and touched the community in a positive and reassuring manner,” she said. “It has helped the Airmen serve their fellow Americans and better themselves in their professional and technical abilities.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Courtesy graphic

Fitness center gets Xtreme makeover

Courtesy graphic Above is an architectural rendering of the changes to the outside of the Luke Air Force Base Bryant Fitness Center. Renovations also include a remodel of most of the interior. The project will take place over t...
 
 

People — Air Force’s greatest asset

As I reflect on almost 25 years of military service, I find it easy to remember my assignments, the multiple jobs I’ve had and duties I have performed. I have served on four continents and for four presidents. Within that same time period, our nation has been in numerous campaigns ranging from operations Desert Storm...
 
 

Character, good or bad, will be passed on

Your character is who you are when no one is watching. At the same time, your character is who you are when everyone is watching. Your character is the sum of your morals and values and the quality of your character is of the utmost importance when leading others. In addition to your own values...
 

 
Senior Airman 
JAMES HENSLEY

History gets paint job

Senior AirmanJAMES HENSLEY James Bridges and Hayden Yager, civilian contractors, prepare the F-104C Starfighter static display for painting Aug. 12 in the Luke Air Force Base Airpark. The static displays in the airpark will be ...
 
 

News Briefs August 29, 2015

Base-wide exercise The 56th Fighter Wing will begin an active-shooter exercise between 8 and 10 a.m. Thursday. It is expected to continue throughout the day. The exercise will include military and local, county and state law enforcement, and fire departments. On and off-base residents should expect traffic disruptions, gate closures or delays, and interruption of...
 
 
Tech. Sgt. 
BARBARA PLANTE

944th Airmen live life as military couple

Tech. Sgt.BARBARA PLANTE Staff Sgt. Adam Jenkins and Senior Airman Cassandra Jenkins, 944th Logistics Readiness Squadron, are a dual-military couple and work together as maintainers in the refueling vehicle maintenance shop. St...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>