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Wright-Patt Airmen deploy for COVID-19 effort

Airmen from the 88th Air Base Wing’s Medical Group deployed to Detroit March 19 in support of a Department of Defense COVID-19 vaccination support operation.

Airmen from the 88th Medical Group board a bus outside the medical center as they deploy from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, to Detroit, Michigan, March 19, 2021 in support of the Federal Emergency Management whole-of-government COVID response. During their deployment members will setup a COVID-19 vaccination site where they could vaccinate as many as 6,000 people a day. (U.S. Air Force photo by Wesley Farnsworth)

Airmen from the 88th Air Base Wing’s Medical Group deployed to Detroit March 19 in support of a Department of Defense COVID-19 vaccination support operation.

U.S. Air Force Col. Patrick Miller, 88th Air Base Wing commander, talks to Airmen from the 88th Medical Group prior deployment from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, to Detroit, Michigan, March 19, in support of the Federal Emergency Management whole-of-government COVID response. During their deployment members will setup a COVID-19 vaccination site where they could vaccinate as many as 6,000 people a day. (U.S. Air Force photo by Wesley Farnsworth)

Airmen from the 88th Air Base Wing’s Medical Group deployed to Detroit March 19 in support of a Department of Defense COVID-19 vaccination support operation.

Airmen from the 88th Medical Group wait on a bus outside the medical center as they deploy from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, to Detroit, Michigan, March 19, 2021 in support of the Federal Emergency Management whole-of-government COVID response. During their deployment members will setup a COVID-19 vaccination site where they could vaccinate as many as 6,000 people a day. (U.S. Air Force photo by Wesley Farnsworth)

Airmen from the 88th Air Base Wing’s Medical Group deployed to Detroit March 19 in support of a Department of Defense COVID-19 vaccination support operation.

Airmen load luggage belonging to deployers from the 88th Medical Group onto a box truck before departing from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, to Detroit, Michigan, March 19, 2021 in support of the Federal Emergency Management whole-of-government COVID response. During their deployment members will setup a COVID-19 vaccination site where they could vaccinate as many as 6,000 people a day. (U.S. Air Force photo by Wesley Farnsworth)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio --

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE - Airmen from the 88th Air Base Wing deployed to Detroit the morning of March 19 for a COVID-19 vaccination-support operation.

A team of approximately 120 Airmen arrived at Ford Field to support the community vaccination center. The Wright-Patterson AFB group is part of a Type 1 team within the Department of Defense’s COVID-19 response operation.

“This deployment will help more people get vaccinated and deliver more shots in arms,” said Col. Jason Musser, the 88th Medical Group’s deputy commander. “Some states unfortunately are having more difficulties than others in getting their people vaccinated. The help our Airmen provide will increase the vaccination administration, and this will ultimately help in the battle against COVID-19.”

At least temporarily, however, the departure could lead to diminished services and operations at Wright-Patterson Medical Center, base officials said. 

The Airmen joined about 2,700 other military medical and support personnel from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force already supporting vaccination efforts in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“The 88th Air Base Wing is proud to contribute to the fight against COVID-19 to protect our fellow Americans,” said Col. Patrick Miller, 88ABW and installation commander. “Our Airmen are highly trained and ready to take part in this very important mission to help save lives.” 

Second Lt. Destiny Jones, an 88 MDG labor and delivery nurse who left with the contingent, spoke about the deployment and expectations.

“This will be a huge shift from what I’m used to doing, but I’m honored and excited to help those in need,” she said.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, military and support personnel throughout the country have already administered about 700,000 vaccines, and a single Type 1 team is capable of delivering 6,000.

Team Wright-Patt’s addition to this effort will allow more vaccinations to occur so the battle against COVID-19 can be won sooner than predicted, 88 ABW leaders said.

U.S. Army North and Joint Force Land Component Command under U.S. Northern Command will oversee this response operation in support of FEMA and the Department of Health and Human Services.

For more information regarding the different teams and community vaccination centers, refer to the FEMA playbook at www.fema.gov/sites/default/files/documents/fema_community-vaccination-centers_playbook_03-12-2021.pdf.