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20th MDG improves partner squadron readiness

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Benjamin Ingold
  • 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Beginning in October 2018, the Air Force started embedding Airman Resiliency Teams of medical support Airmen into heavy workload and high pressure units to increase operator readiness.

The 20th Medical Group has assumed the responsibility of enabling the teams embedded into the 25th Attack Group by providing training, clinical and administrative support to increase Team Shaw mission capabilities.

“Our unit currently does not have a flight doctor assigned,” said Tech. Sgt. Brittney Magee, 482nd Attack Squadron operational medical element flight and operational medicine technician. “This is a hardship for us and we have leaned on the medical group to fill this function.”

Magee said the 20th MDG has always stepped up to provide support to the unit and has made their operations easier.

ARTs also serve as a force multiplier for the 20th MDG by assisting with the flight clinic’s mission while maintaining clinical currencies for Airmen’s professional qualifications.

“We have a pretty small team of flight medical technicians and cover a large population at Shaw,” said Staff Sgt. Rebecca Sheffield, 20th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron flight and operational medicine clinic noncommissioned officer in charge. “The embedded technicians are critical to increasing our bandwidth to serve our patients.”

Embedded Airmen also rely on the 20th MDG for training when they return to a traditional support role, eliminating the need to refresh skills during a role turnover.

When mission partners require a higher level of care than the embedded technicians can handle, they call on the 20th MDG support structure to meet the greater need of the operator.

“Because of the limitations on the care that we can provide, I can easily refer a member to the 20th (MDG) and they can address more serious challenges,” said Tech. Sgt. Charles Metts, 25th Attack Group operational psychology noncommissioned officer in charge. “I can also switch roles and provide mental health support in the med group as well which makes it easier to care for Airmen. The flexibility of the role and the units is very beneficial.”

The ability to freely move to meet the need of operators and stay current on training contributes to the deeper level of care the ART seeks to provide.

“The fact that we can see the operators every day breaks down the barriers pilots might have to seek medical care,” said Magee. “They know they can come to me and I will help them and it breaks the stigma of seeking medical care and having it impact your flying.”

By providing host unit support the 20th Fighter Wing enables global operations anytime, anywhere.