First of 944th medics mobilize for COVID-19 response

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Mobilized Air Force Reserve medics board a C-17 in route to “hot zones” April 5 in support of the COVID-19 pandemic from Luke Air Force Base. This deployment is part of a larger mobilization package of more than 120 doctors, nurses and respiratory technicians Air Force Reserve units across the nation provided in early April in support of the COVID-19 response to take care of Americans. The C-17 is deployed from March Air Reserve Base, California. (Photos by Tech. Sgt. Courtney Richardson)
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Maj. David Kreis, 944th Fighter Wing chaplain, prays for mobilized Air Force Reserve medics before they board their airlift in support of the COVID-19 pandemic deployment.

In response to short-notice mobilization orders, several members of the 944th Aeromedical Staging Squadron deployed to aid in the COVID-19 response in New York City and surrounding states.

This deployment is part of a larger mobilization package, activated by President Donald Trump, of more than 120 doctors, nurses, and respiratory technicians that Air Force Reserve units across the nation provided in the month of April in support of COVID-19 response to take care of Americans.

In accordance with Defense Department and the Centers for Disease Control guidance, deployed members received medical evaluation and were screened for impact to their civilian communities and professions.

Mobilized Air Force Reserve medics pose for a photo with their leadership before they board their airlift.

“We did not want to pull a doc or nurse out of their community clinical practice or hospital if already ensconced in coronavirus operations,” said Col. Teresa Bisnett, Air Force Reserve Command surgeon general.  “It was truly a team effort with our units to ensure the right Reservists were selected to provide this surge capability to our nation.”

As one of the hardest hit regions in the United States, the Northeast is considered the epicenter of the coronavirus.

First Lt. Danielle Clark, 944th Aeromedical Staging Squadron clinical nurse, talks with Col. James Greenwald, 944th Fighter Wing commander, as Chief Master Sgt. Catherine Buchanan, 944th FW command chief, listens in before Clark departs in support of the deployment.

“My priority for the wing remains to take care of our Airmen and their families.  We’ll keep doing that so these members can go help take care of Americans in need,” said Col. James Greenwald, 944th Fighter Wing commander. “We will stay connected with them and we will continue to help care for their families while they are deployed.”

The 944th ASTS has over 125 Reserve Citizen Airmen boasting a range of medical job specialties.  Of the squadron members, all but a handful are traditional reservists, serving part-time in the 944th Fighter Wing while maintaining the same standards and training as their active duty counterparts.

Maj. Avram Aaron Brammostyn, 944th Aeromedical Staging Squadron flight surgeon, checks in with Col. James Greenwald, 944th FW commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Catherine Buchanan, 944th FW command chief, before he departs.
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