U.S. Airmen Keep Combat Hospital Operating In Afghanistan

Tech. Sgt. Scott Hatch, a 455th Expeditionary Medical Group biomedical equipment technician and Craig Joint Theater Hospital facility manager, performs maintenance on a blood testing machine at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Sept. 24, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Joseph Swafford)

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan, Sept. 28 (UPI) — A medical center on the combat frontier in Afghanistan is under the management of U.S. Airmen, the Air Force announced on Monday.

The operation is part of the 55th Expeditionary Wing’s mission to provide advanced medical care where personnel are still stationed in Afghanistan.

“We’re the backbone to make the hospital go,” said Maj. Thomas Naughton, the hospital administrator, in a statement, “We’re the support side of things; we make sure the clinicians have all the things they need and that the facility is functional and in good condition so the providers can come in and focus on their duty.”

The hospital is called Craig Joint Theater Hospital. A total of three Airmen keep the hospital functioning, including Tech. Sgt. Scott Hatch, a 455th EMDG biomedical equipment technician and facility manager.

“If something happened during an IDF [indirect fire] attack, I’d coordinate with first responders, contractors and all the other agencies on Bagram to get the facility back up and running so we can keep doing our mission,” Tech. Sgt. Hatch said. “My job as a facility manager is to make sure the facility is in intact.”

While the level of U.S. Armed Forces has dropped in recent years, U.S.-led reconstruction projects in the country continue. This includes training and equipping of the Afghan National Security Forces and the Afghan National Army.


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