Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

September 12, 2011 at 3:38am

446th Aeromedical Staging Squadron Reservists provide care globally

Master Sgt. Michelle Anderson, (center) a medical administrator with 446th Aeromedical Staging Squadron, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., transports a patient from a C-17 Globemaster III to an ambulance on the Ramstein Air Base, Germany flightline Aug. 24

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As the KC-135 Stratotanker carrying patients landed on the flightline at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, two 446th Aeromedical Staging Squadron Reservists were there to provide care and comfort. 

Maj. Timothy Kelly of Portland, Ore., and Master Sgt. Michelle Anderson of Spokane, Wash., are both deployed to the 86th Airlift Wing's Contingency Aeromedical Staging Facility. They are serving three and six month tours as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The wartime mission of ASTS is to provide command, nursing, and specialty functions for up to a 250-bed CASF, rapidly deploy resources for mental health triage and traumatic stress management, critical care expertise, and support assets augmenting aeromedical evacuation missions.

"Our job here is to receive and send out patients currently serving downrange," said Anderson. "At my home station I'm a medical administrator. Here everyone works with patients, it doesn't matter the career field."

"We are actually doing the mission here versus training," said Kelly, a pain management specialist in civilian life. "We are performing the duty that we train for."

Kelly and Anderson met an aircraft carrying patients that arrived from Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. They helped transport the injured from the aircraft to the ambulance that would take them to the hospital.

"The patients we receive here are far from home and they are scared," said Anderson. "It warms my heart to be able to provide them some comfort once they arrive."

"Our home unit provided us with excellent training for this deployment," said Kelly. "It is a very rewarding job."

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