AF medics deploy to Puerto Rico, aid hurricane relief efforts

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 633rd Medical Group deploy from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Oct. 18, 2017.

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 633rd Medical Group deploy from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Oct. 18, 2017. Approximately 87 Langley Air Force Base Airmen deployed as a global response force to provide expeditionary medical care to Puerto Rico residents. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Natasha Stannard)

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 633rd Medical Group deploy from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Oct. 18, 2017.

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 633rd Medical Group deploy from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Oct. 18, 2017. While deployed, the medical team will set up and operate a 25-bed Expeditionary Medical Support field hospital in support of Puerto Rican hurricane relief. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Natasha Stannard)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Nam Nguyen, 633rd Medical Operations Squadron internal medicine physician, deploys from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Oct. 18, 2017.

U.S. Air Force Capt. Nam Nguyen, 633rd Medical Operations Squadron internal medicine physician, deploys from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Oct. 18, 2017. Nguyen deployed as part of a Langley Air Force Base expeditionary medical care team to support hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Natasha Stannard)

A U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules crew chief assigned to the 910th Airlift Wing conducts pre-flight checks before departing Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Oct. 18, 2017.

A U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules crew chief assigned to the 910th Airlift Wing conducts pre-flight checks before departing Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Oct. 18, 2017. The 910th AW aircrew transported Langley Air Force Base medical team members and supplies in support of Hurricane Maria relief efforts. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Natasha Stannard)

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 633rd Medical Group share a few laughs before deploying from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Oct. 18, 2017.

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 633rd Medical Group share a few laughs before deploying from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Oct. 18, 2017. The Langley Air Force Base, Va., medical team will establish an acute care clinic in Aguadilla, in the far northwest of Puerto Rico. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Natasha Stannard)

A U.S. Air Force Airman assigned to the 633rd Medical Group boards a U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Oct. 18, 2017.

A U.S. Air Force Airman assigned to the 633rd Medical Group boards a U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Oct. 18, 2017. The C-130 team from Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Ohio, flew the medical team to Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, in support of Hurricane Maria relief efforts. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Natasha Stannard)

A U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules crew chief assigned to the 910th Airlift Wing conducts pre-flight checks before departing Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Oct. 18, 2017.

A U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules crew chief assigned to the 910th Airlift Wing conducts pre-flight checks before departing Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Oct. 18, 2017. The C-130 team based out of Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Ohio, flew Langley Air Force Base medical team Airmen to Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, in support of Hurricane Maria relief efforts. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Natasha Stannard)

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 633rd Medical Group deploy from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Oct. 18, 2017.

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 633rd Medical Group deploy from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Oct. 18, 2017. Approximately 87 Langley Air Force Base Airmen deployed as a global response force to provide expeditionary medical care to Puerto Rico residents. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Natasha Stannard)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Becky Azama, 633rd Medical Operations Squadron physical medicine flight commander, embraces her daughter, Remi, before deploying from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Oct. 18, 2017.

U.S. Air Force Maj. Becky Azama, 633rd Medical Operations Squadron physical medicine flight commander, embraces her daughter, Remi, before deploying from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Oct. 18, 2017. Azama deployed as part of an expeditionary medical support team, which provides tailored medical response; forward stabilization, resuscitative care, surgical and inpatient services, primary and dental care, force health protection and casualty evacuation preparation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Natasha Stannard)

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 633rd Medical Group deploy from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Oct. 18, 2017.
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U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 633rd Medical Group deploy from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Oct. 18, 2017. The Airmen, including teams from Langley Air Force Base, Eglin AFB, Florida, and Nellis AFB, Nevada, will support hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico as part of a Defense Support to Civilian Authorities mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Natasha Stannard)

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 633rd Medical Group deploy from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Oct. 18, 2017.
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U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 633rd Medical Group deploy from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Oct. 18, 2017. The Langley Air Force Base team is the lead medical element, and will command additional forces en route to Puerto Rico from Eglin AFB, Florida, and Nellis AFB, Nevada, as well as oversee equipment from Charleston AFB, South Carolina. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Natasha Stannard)

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. --

Editor’s Note: This article is part of series highlighting Joint Base Langley-Eustis members’ contribution to humanitarian relief efforts from JBLE.

Approximately 87 members assigned to the 633rd Medical Group departed Joint Base Langley-Eustis to set up and operate a 25-bed Expeditionary Medical Support field hospital in support of hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico, Oct. 15-17, 2017.

“This is a Defense Support to Civil Authorities mission,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Patricia Tate, 633rd MDG senior nurse. “We will be in support of the broad Federal Emergency Management Agency effort to support the Puerto Rican people during this crisis.”

The mission includes assisting the Puerto Rico Department of Health by temporarily establishing hospitals and clinics to alleviate overburdened hospital emergency departments in response to the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

EMEDS medical support packages provide a tailored medical response; forward stabilization, resuscitative care, surgical and inpatient services, primary and dental care, and force health protection.

“We were notified Saturday and started loading our Airmen onto C-130s on Sunday,” said Tate. “This is exactly the type of operation that the EMEDS concept was designed for.”

The 633rd MDG team stands as the lead medical element and will command additional forces en route to Puerto Rico from Eglin Air Force Base, Florida and Nellis AFB, Nevada, as well as oversee equipment from Charleston AFB, South Carolina.