Corps Specific News and Updates 


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Walking Blood Bank Can Save Lives on the battlefield

COL (Ret) Diane Scherr

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Col (Ret) Pat Chappell

Guard and Reserve crucial to CCATT expansion

12/20/2019 By: Shireen Bedi

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — The Air Force is increasing the number of Critical Care Air Transport Teams to support future readiness requirements.

CCATTs augment aeromedical evacuation crews that turn the back of an aircraft of opportunity into a flying intensive care unit. Made up of a three-person medical team, CCATTs provide advanced care, transporting severely injured or ill patients to higher levels of care.

"The National Defense Strategy directs the Department of Defense to realign planning efforts towards new national threats," said Air Force Brig. Gen. Robert Marks, Air Mobility Command Surgeon and chief of the Air Force Nurse Corps. "Air Force combatant commanders performed a requirements analysis and determined an increased need for critical care patient transport. As a result, the Air Force Medical Service is growing its CCATT capability."

CCATTs made up of Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command members constitute a significant piece of this expansion. The ANG plans on adding 34 teams and the AFRC plans on adding eight teams in 2020. Twenty-four new active duty teams are also planned for 2020.

"The Guard and Reserve support the bulk of aeromedical evacuation and CCATT capabilities," said Marks. "Any growth in the AFMS CCATT capacity always includes a sizeable Guard and Reserve footprint." Guard and Reserve Airmen are a valuable addition to the Total Force, translating their civilian skills and experiences into their CCATT roles. Many work in civilian health facilities where the scope of practice exposes them to trauma and critical care on a daily basis.

"The civilian careers of many of our Reserve and Guard members provide opportunities to work at level 1 and 2 trauma centers," said Air Force Col. Robert Desko, Air National Guard Surgeon General. "This enables them to maintain the highest level of competencies in their field."

In addition to bringing their civilian capabilities to the Total Force CCATT capability, Guard and Reserve Airmen also solidify their skills through teaching. "Many of our Guard and Reserve Airmen serving as CCATT physicians and nurses are board certified and experts in their field," said Air Force Col. Lisa Banyasz-de Silva, Reserve Division chief with the Air Force Reserve Command. "When they are not giving patient care, they are teaching and instructing in cutting-edge institutions. They bring their expert clinical skills to the battleground and give the best care possible to our warfighters."

This broad skillset is vital for CCATTs as they fill a critical role in augmenting aeromedical evacuation crews, safely and efficiently transporting the most critically ill or injured patients to higher echelons of care.

"CCATT capability lets our aeromedical evacuation system deliver advanced medical interventions to seamlessly transport patients from the point of injury to the rehabilitation medical facility," said Marks. "They are also able to provide this advanced care in the back of a military cargo aircraft and overcome the challenges that come with such an environment - low lighting, noise, high altitude, vibrations and a limited work space."

As the AFMS grows its CCATT capabilities, so will the vital role of the Guard and Reserve teams in meeting this crucial operational medicine requirement.

"CCATTs see a wide variety of patients with serious medical and surgical conditions," said Marks. "The broad clinical experience brought by our Total Force Airmen lets us field a stronger CCATT workforce."


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DHA transition discussion hosted at Naval Hospital Bremerton

CDR (Ret) Susan Tussey

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CAPT (Ret) Angela Martinelli

The U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps is an elite team of more than 6,000 well-trained, highly qualified public health professionals dedicated to delivering the nation's public health promotion and disease prevention programs and advancing public health science. Driven by a passion for public service, these men and women serve on the frontlines in the nation's fight against disease and poor health conditions. As one of America's seven uniformed services, the Commissioned Corps fills essential public health leadership and service roles within the nation's federal government agencies and programs.

The mission of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps is to protect, promote, and advance the health and safety of our Nation. The Commissioned Corps achieves its mission through:

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The Commissioned Corps emergency response teams are trained and equipped to respond to public health crises and national emergencies such as natural disasters, disease outbreaks, or terrorist attacks, both here and overseas. Officers have responded to emergencies such as the Ebola response in West Africa, Hurricane Katrina, the earthquake in Haiti, and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

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