HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah, March 31, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Ten Hill airmen joined a group from the 88th Air Base Wing’s Medical Group in deploying to Detroit March 19 in support of a Department of Defense COVID-19 vaccination support operation.
The group from the 75th Medical Group joined the team of approximately 120 airmen at Ford Field to support the community vaccination center, where they’ll distribute about 6,000 vaccinations a day for several weeks, said a news release from Hill AFB. This team is part of the DOD’s COVID-19 response operation Type Team 1.
“This deployment will help more people get vaccinated and deliver more shots in arms,” said Col. Jason Musser, 88 MDG deputy commander. “Some states unfortunately are having more difficulties than others in getting their people vaccinated. The help that our airmen provide will increase the vaccination administration, and this will ultimately help in the battle against COVID-19.”
The airmen joined the other approximate 2,700 military medical and support personnel from the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force already supporting the vaccination efforts in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“I am really proud of the airmen for going out there to assist on the front lines in support of a global pandemic,’ said Tech. Sgt. Gregory Bowers, 75th MDG’s Medical Readiness Flight Chief and unit deployment manager. “It is really a unique mission and they are making history. It’s pretty cool to be a part of that.”
The Hill airmen selected to deploy were those in the aerospace medicine career field leadership felt were best suited for the job, as well as those who could benefit from the breadth of experience the deployment could provide.
“These are new and untested experiences,” Bowers said. “I have deployed many medics in my short eight-year career, but they always seemed to alternate between Al Udeid or Al Dahfra. It is exciting to be a part of something new and ground breaking such as mass vaccination centers within the continental United States to combat a global pandemic.”
According to FEMA, the military and support personnel throughout the country have already administered approximately 700,000 vaccines. With the new addition of personnel supporting this vaccination effort, this will allow more vaccinations to occur so that the battle against COVID-19 can be won sooner than predicted.
The U.S. Army North and Joint Force Land Component Command of U.S. Northern Command is overseeing this response operation, supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Health and Human Services.