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When the community calls

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Melissa Beasley, center right, the officer in charge of a medical response team (MRT) from the 81st Medical Group, speaks to the MRT at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center before their in-processing at the hospital during the COVID-19 response operations in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Aug. 24, 2021. U.S. Northern Command, through U.S. Army North, remains committed to providing flexible Department of Defense support to the whole-of-government COVID-19 response. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael H. Lehman/Released)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Melissa Beasley, center right, the officer in charge of a medical response team (MRT) from the 81st Medical Group, speaks to the MRT at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center before their in-processing at the hospital during the COVID-19 response operations in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Aug. 24, 2021. U.S. Northern Command, through U.S. Army North, remains committed to providing flexible Department of Defense support to the whole-of-government COVID-19 response. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael H. Lehman/Released)

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Taylor Gifford, a registered nurse with the 81st Medical Group, draws an anti-inflammatory medication into a syringe to be administered to a COVID-positive patient at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center during the COVID-19 response operations in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Aug. 25, 2021. U.S. Northern Command, through U.S. Army North, remains committed to providing flexible Department of Defense support to the whole-of-government COVID-19 response. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael H. Lehman/Released)

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Taylor Gifford, a registered nurse with the 81st Medical Group, draws an anti-inflammatory medication into a syringe to be administered to a COVID-positive patient at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center during the COVID-19 response operations in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Aug. 25, 2021. U.S. Northern Command, through U.S. Army North, remains committed to providing flexible Department of Defense support to the whole-of-government COVID-19 response. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael H. Lehman/Released)

Joy Dike, left, a civilian registered nurse at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center hands U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Kayron Dickens, right, a registered nurse from the 81st Medical Group, medication for a COVID-positive patient during the COVID-19 response operations in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Aug. 25, 2021. U.S. Northern Command, through U.S. Army North, remains committed to providing flexible Department of Defense support to the whole-of-government COVID-19 response. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael H. Lehman/Released)

Joy Dike, left, a civilian registered nurse at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center hands U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Kayron Dickens, right, a registered nurse from the 81st Medical Group, medication for a COVID-positive patient during the COVID-19 response operations in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Aug. 25, 2021. U.S. Northern Command, through U.S. Army North, remains committed to providing flexible Department of Defense support to the whole-of-government COVID-19 response. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael H. Lehman/Released)

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --

With COVID-19 and its delta variant numbers rising, Keesler’s medical personnel were called to deploy in support of Louisiana and its first responders, who were facing challenges to keep up with the physical, mental and emotional demands to care for the growing number of patients.

“Keesler Medical Center deployed 22 medical personnel including doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists and administrators for the Federal Emergency Management Association to support COVID-19 operations at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana,” said 2nd Lt. BriAnna Green, 81st Medical Support Squadron, medical logistics flight commander. “It is important for Keesler to support and be able to assist with providing the best care possible by ensuring the local team can acquire the appropriate mental and physical rest to continue the fight against COVID.”

The team began deploying on Aug. 21 under the Defense Security Cooperation Agency as support for civil authorities as one of five teams.

“Typically the Department of Defense is not the first one called in this situation,” said Lt. Colonel Melissa Beasley, 81st Medical Support Squadron commander. “We train for this. Now we get the opportunity to go out and work not only with our civilian, but Army and Navy counterparts as well.”

Although the teams will be spread out in different areas in order to utilize resources in multiple places, being able to reduce any form of suffering is a joint effort near and far.                              

“This support reminds the community that the fight against COVID is still ongoing and solidifies the stance that members of the Armed Forces and other federal agencies are able and ready to provide assistance in any time of crisis around the world,” said Green.