Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

April 6, 2012 at 10:46am

Seasoned Medical Service Corps officer continues to learn on latest deployment

Members of the 651st Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron Critical Care Air Transport Team work together to load patients onto a C-130H Hercules for an aeromedical evacuation at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan.

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MCCHORD FIELD, Wash. -- Even with a diverse skill set and years of training and experience, Maj. Peter Jorgensen proves there's always something new to learn.

The 28-year medical professional has held many positions throughout a lucrative career, beginning as an enlisted logistician on active duty, up to his current responsibilities as a Medical Services Corps officer with the 446th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron here.

Now, the Reservist serves in Afghanistan with the critical role as director of operations for the 651st Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron in Kandahar, overseeing the daily duties of more than 100 people, who support around-the-clock aeromedical evacuations for more than 100,000 NATO troops.

"Major Jorgensen is a dedicated Medical Service Corps officer with a wealth of experience, from his time serving with the (446th Aeromedical Staging Squadron here) and now with the 446th AES," said Col. Janette Moore-Harbert, 446th AES commander. "This experience has allowed him to help facilitate the depth of the patient movement process from the staging facility into the operational and flying element of the AE system. He not only brings that to this current deployment but also to the 446th AES, allowing us to be better patient providers by understanding our partners roles and responsibilities in the ASTS, in order to ensure a seamless and smooth patient movement system." 

With Jorgensen being an air Reserve technician, a full-time Reservist who helps maintain the continuity and combat readiness of the traditional Reservists, thanks Moore-Harbert, not only for contributing to his growth as a 446th AES Reservist, but for allowing him to serve overseas.

"I owe a great deal of thanks to my commander, for allowing me to deploy and grow as a military member," said Jorgensen, a Lakewood resident. "Being an air Reserve technician, it was no small sacrifice for her and the rest of the unit when I volunteered for the deployment." 

Jorgensen easily applies his homestation training to his deployed function.

"This mission is a lot like the way we train in the 446th AES during our exercises and local missions during the month and UTA weekends," said Jorgensen. 

Although he's learning a lot in his current assignment, it isn't his first rodeo. In fact, most of his deployments as an officer with the 446th ASTS are directly tied to his mission with the 446th AES.

"This is my third deployment and I feel right at home here from the fact that I started as a Medical Service Corps officer attached to the 446th ASTS," said Jorgensen. "During my eight years with the ASTS, I had the opportunity to deploy to Balad Air Base (Iraq) in 2006. I was functioning both in the (Contingency Aeromedical Staging Facility) as an administrator and as a launch and recovery officer for more than 100 missions. Little did I know at the time, the launch and recovery along with crew management was exactly what we train for in the (446th AES). I can honestly say that my wartime success can be directly contributed to my countless 446th Airlift Wing training opportunities over the years." 

But wealth of experience isn't the only factor which has made Jorgensen's deployment a success. He says bringing out the best in his troops, so they can perform is critical.

"Relationships with your people are key to your success as a leader, and they need to be maintained in order to bring out the best in them- even if it's not their best day," he said. "As an officer, I've become better and more knowledgeable at reading the signs as whether someone is having a good or bad day." 

Even as his deployment comes to a close, Jorgensen still has his eyes on the reason he's there.

"There are a lot of people making huge sacrifices both here and at home for us to be successful," said Jorgensen. "It's been a huge learning experience and one that I look forward to bringing back to my unit and the wing." 

Moore-Harbert stresses her pride in having Reservists, like Jorgensen representing the 446th AES.

"I am very proud of him and his ability to excel and represent the 446th AES anytime and anywhere," she said.    

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