81st MDG brings total force medical care to air show

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Holly Mansfield
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs
With the Keesler Air Show/Open House coming up, the 81st Medical Group is planning to be out in force to show the Gulf Coast community how they contribute to keeping Team Keesler healthy.

"The 81st MDG will be showcasing our unique medical capabilities during the Keesler Air Show/Open House," said Col. Thomas Harrell, 81st MDG commander. "At the event, Keesler Medical Center Airmen will be demonstrating how the partnerships we have built all along the Gulf Coast enable us to better care for our patients and to meet contingency requirements, while being good stewards of taxpayer dollars in a cost-conscious culture."

At the event, volunteers from the 81st MDG will demonstrate how the active-duty Airmen stationed at Keesler work hand-in-hand with the local Army, Air National Guard, Navy, Coast Guard and local civilian health departments and emergency management communities, said Harrell.

"We will have over 35 volunteers from all over our medical center attending the air show to show our ability to train medical Airmen to care for patients from the point of injury all the way to definitive care, here or in a deployed setting," said Harrell. "Our commitment to supporting civilian authorities when they face manmade or natural disasters is stronger than ever. The same capabilities that are so successful at saving lives on the battlefield can save lives at home. These partnerships have allowed us to become a medical protective arc over the Gulf Coast."

Highlighting everything from medical care for military members and veterans to natural disaster response are the medical group's goals for the air show.

"Our partnerships with local and state medical authorities across the Gulf Coast have enabled us to provide medical support in a wide variety of settings, from responding to major disasters like Hurricane Katrina to joint military-civilian training and planning for such disasters," said Maj. Shane Steiner, 81st Aerospace Medicine Squadron aerospace medicine deputy chief. "By collaborating on exercises and preparing for real world events, we are better prepared to rapidly respond to any medical challenge the Gulf Coast might face." 

The medical group will be showcasing how they not only are helping those in the Gulf Coast now but also how they are looking toward the future.

"As we expand and strengthen our relationships with our partners in Veterans Affairs, the civilian sector, and our sister services, our arc of medical protection for the Gulf Coast will be even more robust," said Steiner. "This will enhance our care delivery and further prepare us for contingency care in the event of a natural or manmade disaster."

From helping members of the Gulf Coast during natural disasters to serving military members at the Keesler Medical Center, the 81st MDG is dedicated to using its lifesaving capabilities, not only down-range but also stateside. Visitors to the Keesler Air Show/Open House will learn how the medical group is dedicated to being a total force medical power.