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Team MacDill Responds to Humanitarian Efforts in Haiti
A humvee containing medical supplies under the 6th Medical Group Mobile Aeromedical Staging Facility (MASF) team is secured on a C-130 aircraft for humanitarian relief to Haiti from MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 20. The 13-personnel MASF team from MacDill contains nurses, aeromedical technicians, and administrators who will provide medical treatment to victims of the massive Haiti earthquake which occured on Jan. 12. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rylan Albright)
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Team MacDill responds to Haiti Relief Efforts

Posted 1/20/2010   Updated 1/20/2010 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Rylan Albright

1/20/2010 - MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Thirteen members of MacDill Air Force Base's 6th Medical Group deployed to the Republic of Haiti on Jan. 20 in support of the humanitarian mission to provide critical medical care to survivors of the massive earthquake that devastated the island recently.

"The team consists of personnel whose expertise is in critical care treatment as well as both administrative and logistical support," said Col. Gregory Canney, 6th Medical Group commander.

Additionally, the members belong to a Mobile Aeromedical Staging Facility team consisting of nurses, administrators, medical and administrative technicians who are prepared to deploy at anytime to give medical support. All the participants are trained to provide crucial medical treatment on site, load patients onto an aircraft, and stabilize them while transporting them in the air to a designated medical location.

"We train and are prepared to respond anywhere in the world," said Maj. Christopher Joseph, 6 MDG MASF team chief.

While the MASF team may have come about recently some of their personnel's experience with Humanitarian relief efforts are nothing new. Their training and skills were key during the Hurricane Ike and Gustav relief missions in 2008 and will once again be needed to assist the Haitian evacuees.

"The range of expertise of the members in the group starts from five to twenty years," said Major Joseph. "They are capable, willing, and excited to do what needs to be done to help the people of Haiti."

Since the earthquake struck the country, MacDill AFB, to include the 6th Air Mobility Wing and other tenant units on base, have been vigilant and responsive to providing assistance to the Haitians.

"MacDill has been at the forefront of taking care of our missions and supporting others who are also prosecuting what it is they need to do to provide relief and support to end the suffering down in Haiti," said Col. David Cohen, 6 AMW vice commander.

Not only has Team MacDill sent out medical relief, but also communication teams and equipment from the Joint Communications Support Element, security was provided by the 6th Security Forces Squadron, and also air refueling was done by MacDill KC-135 aircraft, which refueled the first aircraft sent into Haiti.

"We've flown about a half dozen missions since Tuesday, refueling other aircraft on the way to Haiti, so they don't have to land to help expedite the relief supplies in arriving," said Colonel Cohen.

In addition, MacDill has provided around-the-clock support for more than 21 aircraft, most of which needed refueling, who have been actively engaged in humanitarian aid to Haiti. Most aircraft arriving and departing from the base consist of C-17s and C-130s and originate from a variety of Air Force Bases throughout the country to include Dover AFB, Del. and Dyess AFB, Texas.

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