JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. --
To say thanks for helping the 621st Contingency Response Wing fulfill their alert cycle requirements, the 621st CRW command team presented coins to a few 87th Medical Group Airmen on March 15.
"A year ago, when the COVID-19 pandemic kicked off, we had no idea where the circumstances would lead and the impact on our wing, the Department of Defense, and our Air Force," said U.S. Air Force Col. Doug Jackson, 621st CRW commander. "The one thing we knew for certain is there would be no relief for the Devil Raider mission."
Regardless of the circumstances, the mission must go on, said Jackson. That means having trained, healthy, and ready forces to meet contingency requirements around the world.
"Without support from the tremendous medical professionals at both Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, and Travis Air Force Base, California, we would not have met that critical requirement," he added.
The 87th MDG supported tasks that ensured the CRW could support Air Mobility Command, and the U.S. Transportation Command objectives. These tasks included COVID-19 screenings, vaccinations, medical record reviews, vital signs and referral management.
They specifically helped by administering COVID-19 tests for immediate deployers to complete airfield surveys in Honduras after Hurricane Iota hit in November, and ensured proper quarantine and occasional isolation of infected Devil Raiders and families.
As America's uniquely skilled 911 force tasked to provide humanitarian aid and disaster relief within 12 hours of notice, being ready to deploy is an essential part of the mission.
"I like being able to help people deploy; it helps me feel like I am a part of the bigger mission," said U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Abigale Arruda, 87th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron medical technician. "I also like providing a little bit of certainty in an uncertain situation."
The medical professionals of the 87th MDG were partners in actualizing the CRW vision.
"In short, they kept us ready, they buoyed our resilience, and they clearly have cared for our Airmen and families throughout the pandemic," Jackson said.
The 621st Contingency Response Group located at JBMDL has been on the alert cycle for nine months, assuming the role three months earlier than usual due to California's wildfires in the summer of 2020.
As Devil Raiders on the West Coast assume alert posture this month, the 621st CRW command team didn't want to miss an opportunity to thank their great medical teammates for all their hard work.
"As a previous medic, I completely understand that the job of a medic is to take care of others yet rarely be thanked for those tireless efforts," said U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Amy Riley, 621st CRW command chief. "You have sacrificed your own personal well-being for all those that you care for."
Devils Raiders couldn't be more grateful to the Airmen of the 87th MDG for their outstanding professionalism and support exhibited throughout this pandemic.
"We are grateful for the 87th MDG's dedication to care for all of our Devil Raiders," Riley said. "These words simply aren't enough, but from the entire 621 CRW ... Thank you!"