177th MDG deploys to Spangdahlem AB to work with active duty, ensure mission readiness

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Shane Karp
  • 177th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
More than 20 Airmen from the New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Fighter Wing Medical Group deployed July 30 to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, for a temporary duty assignment with the U.S. Air Force's 52nd Medical Group.

Dentists and dental assistants, physicians, nurses, aerospace medical technicians, healthcare administrators, public health technicians and bioenvironmental engineers all made the trip from the 177th MDG and, working with their active-duty counterparts, experience training opportunities that may be unavailable to them at their home unit.

"It's great for these Airmen to come here and have the chance to do their jobs on a daily basis", said Senior Airman Jocelyn Martinez, a diagnostic imaging technician with the 52nd Medical Group. "A lot of these jobs, if you don't do it every day, it is easy to forget some things."

Master Sgt. Patricia Hughes, a public health technician with the 177th, was able to complete food-safety inspections of several on-base restaurants here on Spangdahlem Air Base.

"Back at home, I only get to do one or two inspections every quarter," said Hughes. "That's why it's so useful to have this refresher training here."

Airmen from the 177th MDG also tested water samples of local German schools, administered immunizations to local military members and their families, participated in ambulance services training, assisted with medical procedures, conducted pest and vector surveillance to detect the potential of disease transmission of local insects, and participated in scenario-based inspections.

"At a stand-alone Air National Guard base, we are often battling a lack of time, resources, or sometimes, both -- so the opportunity to train at an active-duty treatment facility is priceless to these Airmen," said Chief Master Sgt. Wayne Miller, superintendent of the 177th MDG.

"The active-duty base, given its resources, allows Air National Guard Airmen to utilize skills that are not used during unit training assemblies, and the collaborative work environment with the active-duty force ensures complete mission readiness," Miller said.

"When deployed, it does not matter if you are National Guard or active duty, everyone is expected to be ready," said Lt. Col. Robert Desipio, 177th MDG commander, "That is what this training is all about."