Rapid global mobility calls for rapid global medicine

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Mariette Adams
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Delivering rapid global mobility requires aircrew to be ready at a moment’s notice. MacDill Air Force Base, Florida’s flight medicine Airmen keep KC-135 Stratotanker crews flight-ready and fueling the mission.

Flight medicine at MacDill operates from the 6th Medical Group, and also assigns a technician and doctor to the 91st Air Refueling Squadron (ARS).

Flight medicine provides a wide range of services from occupational physicals to shop safety inspections to flying and special operational duty personnel.

One essential part of the career field is the care provided to flying Airmen, sometimes called flyers.

Flyers have busy schedules and rigorous health requirements. With the care of flight medicine, MacDill flyers are able to maintain physical readiness and in turn, execute and sustain rapid global mobility.

Tech. Sgt. Clark Rutherford, an aerospace medical service technician assigned to the 91st ARS, divides his time between working in the medical clinic and 91st ARS.

Rutherford monitors a patient’s health, schedules flight physicals, and assists with the patient’s needs in order to keep them ready to fly.

“We track grounded flyers receiving medical care and help to get them back to duty,” explained Rutherford.

Flight medicine Airmen are dedicated to creating easily accessible care to flyers.

As they aim to offer the best medical care, flight medicine is available at all times to provide any needed assistance. Flyers can call the after-hours phone number at any time for a medical concern, and sick call is available to them twice a day.

“Our day doesn’t end at 4 p.m. or 4:30 p.m. like other career fields,” said Capt. Shereef Takla, a flight surgeon assigned to the 6th Aerospace Medical Squadron. “If a flyer is in need of something after hours, we are there to provide support and guidance, There is always a flight doctor on call to provide support in case of emergencies. We’re here to keep the flyers flying.”