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127th Medical Group puts focus on readiness

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Dan Heaton
  • 127th Wing Public Affairs
The doctors, nurses and health technicians of the 127th Medical Group (MDG) ensure that the nearly 1,500 Michigan Airmen assigned to Selfridge Air National Guard Base are medically prepared to answer the call.

The unit's approximately 55 Airmen focus on three primary missions: medical readiness for the 127th Wing at Selfridge, homeland security and disaster response, said Senior Master Sgt. Cory McClusky, MDG superintendent.

On any given Unit Training Assembly weekend the MDG can provide 200 to 300 physicals to include areas such as Preventative Health Assessments (PHAs), dental, audiograms, optometry, vitals, vaccinations, and physician assessments.  The MDG also handles profiles and waivers in conjunction with National Guard Bureau and plays a part in the 127th Force Support Squadron's Line of Duty and Medical Evaluation Board process for the 127th Wing.

"Depending on the what units might be in the deployment process, or the time of year, we might have close to 400 people who need some type of service from the Med Group in a single drill weekend," said Tech. Sgt. Linda Treat, a public health technician with the group.

MDG supports industrial hygiene, fetal protection, hearing conservation, food safety and sanitation, food and water vulnerability assessments, occupational medicine, deployment medicine, respiratory protection, and hazard communication (HAZCOM). The unit's Airmen routinely provide these services on the base at Selfridge and can be called upon to perform these duties in a deployed environment as well, McClusky said.

While most of the group's Airmen are assigned to either the unit's Medical Operations or Medical Support flights, some MDG personnel are assigned to either the 107th Fighter Squadron or 171st Air Refueling Squadron, both of which are also part of the 127th Wing at Selfridge. MDG Airmen in the flying squadrons serve as that unit's Flight Surgeon and Squadron Medical Element (SME). In these roles, MDG Airmen primarily provide for the medical needs of their respective unit in preparation for, during, and after deployments.

In addition to their local readiness duties, several of the MDG Airmen are part of an Air Force Critical Care Air Transport Team (CCATT), an in-flight intensive care unit that can be quickly deployed to transport the most critically injured patients in the aero-medical evacuation system. The CCATT Airmen provide care to those who are being evacuated from theater to fully-equipped intensive care units.

Treat said MDG Airmen at times deploy as a "package," but are also frequently called upon to deploy as individuals or in groups of two or three Airmen.

"Often times, our Airmen will attach to another unit that either needs a SME or to another deploying unit that has a shortfall in a particular area where we can provide a skilled person," Treat said.

Over the past 10 years, 127th MDG Airmen have deployed in support of missions to Guam, Germany, Iraq, Afghanistan, Qatar, and Kyrgyzstan. In recent years, MDG Airmen have also performed in missions in the United States as well as in the European nations of Estonia and neighboring Latvia - one of the Michigan National Guard's two State Partnership for Peace partner nations.

About the 127th Wing
Comprised of approximately 1,700 personnel and flying both the A-10 Thunderbolt II and the KC-135 Stratotanker, the Michigan Air National Guard's 127th Wing supports Air Mobility Command and Air Combat Command operations by providing highly-skilled Airmen to missions domestically and overseas. The 127th Wing is the host unit at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, which marks its 98th year of continuous military air operations in 2015.