Saber units get the point: 52nd Medical Group

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Jaryl Burjoss, 52nd Medical Operations Squadron allergy immunology technician from Morresville, N.C., administers a vaccine to a patient at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, March 25, 2014. Vaccines are used to improve the immune system which prevents sickness or diseases from infecting the body. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Gese/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Jaryl Burjoss, 52nd Medical Operations Squadron allergy immunology technician from Morresville, N.C., administers a vaccine to a patient at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, March 25, 2014. Vaccines are used to improve the immune system which prevents sickness or diseases from infecting the body. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Gese/Released)

U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. David Luce, 52nd Medical Support Squadron diagnostic imaging NCO in charge from Vacaville, Calif., positions his head for a cranium X-ray at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, March 25, 2014. X-rays not only can be used to identify broken bones, but also help diagnose disease and help plan treatment. In a radiographic image, lungs filled with air appear as black, fatty tissues appear as different shades of gray and bones appear whiter. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Gese/Released)

U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. David Luce, 52nd Medical Support Squadron diagnostic imaging NCO in charge from Vacaville, Calif., positions his head for a cranium X-ray at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, March 25, 2014. X-rays not only can be used to identify broken bones, but also help diagnose disease and help plan treatment. In a radiographic image, lungs filled with air appear as black, fatty tissues appear as different shades of gray and bones appear whiter. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Gese/Released)

U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Jason Ellington, 52nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron optometry flight chief from Stuart, Fla., goes through a slit lamp test at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, March 25, 2014. A slit lamp test is used to detect scaring of the cornea and blood flow in the eye. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Gese/Released)

U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Jason Ellington, 52nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron optometry flight chief from Stuart, Fla., goes through a slit lamp test at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, March 25, 2014. A slit lamp test is used to detect scaring of the cornea and blood flow in the eye. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Gese/Released)

U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Mark Romera, 52nd Medical Support Squadron diagnostic imaging flight chief from Daily City, Calif., performs an ultrasound on a patient at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, March 25, 2014. Abdominal ultrasounds can be used to evaluate organs such as the liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, kidneys and the abdominal aorta. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Gese/Released)

U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Mark Romera, 52nd Medical Support Squadron diagnostic imaging flight chief from Daily City, Calif., performs an ultrasound on a patient at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, March 25, 2014. Abdominal ultrasounds can be used to evaluate organs such as the liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, kidneys and the abdominal aorta. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Gese/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Venessa Diaz, 52nd Medical Support Squadron pharmacy technician from Dilley, Texas, mixes a medication at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, March 25, 2014. A mortar and pestle is used to crush or grind a substance into a powder and is a common practice for compounding. The pharmacy fills approximately 200 prescriptions per day and offers counseling advice for patients with questions about pharmaceuticals. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Gese/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Venessa Diaz, 52nd Medical Support Squadron pharmacy technician from Dilley, Texas, mixes a medication at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, March 25, 2014. A mortar and pestle is used to crush or grind a substance into a powder and is a common practice for compounding. The pharmacy fills approximately 200 prescriptions per day and offers counseling advice for patients with questions about pharmaceuticals. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Gese/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. John Castillo, 52nd Dental Squadron dental laboratory technician from San Diego, paints a stone tooth at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, March 28, 2014. After the tooth is prepared, it is used to create a crown made from porcelain fused to metal and is placed over the patients tooth. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Gese/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. John Castillo, 52nd Dental Squadron dental laboratory technician from San Diego, paints a stone tooth at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, March 28, 2014. After the tooth is prepared, it is used to create a crown made from porcelain fused to metal and is placed over the patients tooth. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Gese/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Alicia Rosdahl, 52nd Dental Squadron dental technician from Greenville, N.C., paints a fluoride treatment on the teeth of U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Victoria Perrone, 52nd DS dental technician from Chandler, Ariz., at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, March 28, 2014. Fluoride is used to help prevent tooth decay by protecting the teeth from bacteria in plaque. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Gese/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Alicia Rosdahl, 52nd Dental Squadron dental technician from Greenville, N.C., paints a fluoride treatment on the teeth of U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Victoria Perrone, 52nd DS dental technician from Chandler, Ariz., at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, March 28, 2014. Fluoride is used to help prevent tooth decay by protecting the teeth from bacteria in plaque. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Gese/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Bruce Moore, 52nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron bioenvironmental technician from Kansas City, Mo., examines a water sample under a black-light at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, March 28, 2014. Colilert is added to the water sample to detect the presence of bacteria. If bacteria is present, the water will glow under a black-light. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Gese/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Bruce Moore, 52nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron bioenvironmental technician from Kansas City, Mo., examines a water sample under a black-light at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, March 28, 2014. Colilert is added to the water sample to detect the presence of bacteria. If bacteria is present, the water will glow under a black-light. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Gese/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jonathan Moroz, 52nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron bioenvironmental technician from Greencastel, Pa., performs a monthly hazardous air pollutant site check at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, March 28, 2014. The hazardous air pollutant site check detects volatile organic compounds in the atmosphere. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Gese/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jonathan Moroz, 52nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron bioenvironmental technician from Greencastel, Pa., performs a monthly hazardous air pollutant site check at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, March 28, 2014. The hazardous air pollutant site check detects volatile organic compounds in the atmosphere. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Gese/Released)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- The 52nd Fighter Wing has more than 30 units on and off base, working day-in and day-out to fulfill the mission of defending American and allied interests and building partner capacities.

Throughout the year, 52nd FW Public Affairs will highlight each of the wing's units as together they serve a critical role in fulfilling this mission.


This week's spotlight is the 52nd Medical Group.

The mission of the 52nd Medical Group is to keep Spangdahlem Airmen in the fight by delivering medical excellence, maximizing readiness and promoting healthy communities. There are more than 300 Airmen and Department of Defense employees who provide medical support to the community.

"Without medics ... you die!" said U.S. Air Force Col. Jill Scheckel, 52nd MDG commander, about the importance of health care.

The medical group manages four squadrons with 45 different specialties that require unique skills: 52nd Medical Operations Squadron, 52nd Medical Support Squadron, 52nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron and 52nd Dental Squadron. The 52nd MDOS provides family health and early developmental services for children with disabilities or special learning needs; the 52nd MDSS provides TRICARE operations and patient administration; the 52nd AMS focuses on emergency response, and the 52nd DS provides dental services and pediatric care.

After the doors close for the day, the staff works to ensure that medical records are kept and calls are returned. A few of the staff members also work on-call shifts to provide emergency ambulance services, which are available 24/7.

"The wing would not function without Saber medics," said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Daniel Duckworth, 52nd MDG first sergeant, "Still, it would be no different if you were to ask what would happen without our 'Defenders?' It just isn't an option. We enable the 52nd Fighter Wing to bring the fight. As I often say, 'this is a team sport,' and we need the entire team to be successful."

Readiness is what separates the medical group from civilian medical treatment facilities, he said. Once a month, the Airmen dedicate a day where they make their work a part of their muscle memory by engaging in hands-on training.

"Think about this," said Duckworth. "Would you want to see a doctor or a technician that lacked the appropriate training to diagnose or perform a significant procedure? This is why we train."

Airmen also go through constant certifications to ensure they remain qualified at sustaining a mission-capable force.

According to Scheckel, the medical group prepares the human weapon system by encouraging Comprehensive Airmen Fitness by living a healthy lifestyle. To help achieve that healthy lifestyle, some of their medical capabilities include family practice, flight medicine, optometry, immunizations, and dental and mental health.

"It is our responsibility to sustain and strengthen our Saber Nation families and community," said Scheckel. "Our members and their family's health play an important role in the success of our mission."