Medically prepared through deployment medicine

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Danielle Conde
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing public affairs
Every day the Airmen of the public health deployment medicine section at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, are dedicated to ensuring the readiness of Team MacDill.

"Airmen are the human weapon system," said Staff Sgt. Aundre Lawrence, 6th Aerospace Medicine Squadron NCO in charge of deployment medicine. "If our people are not healthy, then it's going to affect our mission capability."

It is the job of the deployment medicine Airmen to ensure service members and civilians are medically prepared months before going to their assigned deployment location and are evaluated once they return.

"Prevention is very important, especially in a location without a Medical Treatment Facility," said Airman 1st Class Jan Nirza, 6th AMDS public health technician. "The lack of a hardened building and certain equipment means a risk of having a fatality."

Therefore, it is essential that the technicians pay close attention to making sure the individual is aware of certain exposures to diseases in other countries.

The deployment medicine process starts 120 days before the individual deploys.

During this time, the technicians are responsible for checking that the member is medically cleared through the Individual Medical Readiness system and has met all medical requirements based on the deployment location.

Recommendations for medication or vaccination are also provided based on MOD 12, which is the U.S. Central Command Individual Protection and Individual Unit Deployment, or Department of Defense guideline.

Once they return home, the members need to visit the deployment medicine within 30 days to complete their post-deployment requirements.

"The biggest reward for me is helping our troops prepare for their deployment and reintegrate back from their deployment," said Nirza. "By the time they arrive and have accomplished their mission I know, in some way, I'm part of that success."