In response to short-notice mobilization orders, several members of the 944th Aeromedical Staging Squadron deployed Sunday to aid in the COVID-19 response in New York City and surrounding states.
The 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 have provided over the past 48 hours in support of COVID-19 response to take care of Americans, according to a release from Luke Air Force Base.
In accordance with DoD and the Centers for Disease Control guidance, deployed members received medical evaluation and were screened for impact to their civilian communities and professions.
“We did not want to pull a doc or nurse out of their community clinical practice or hospital if already ensconced in coronavirus operations,” stated 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 U.S., the Northeast is considered the epicenter of the coronavirus, according to the release.
“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,” stated 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.