Saber units get the point: 52nd Medical Group
By Airman 1st Class Kyle Gese, 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 28, 2014
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."