Mighty Medics enjoying new home

  • Published
  • By Maj. Amanda Reeves
  • 919th Special Operations Wing

After nearly five years without a home, the 919th Special Operations Medical Squadron recently returned to their renovated building and are already making adjustments to enhance medical support for Citizen Air Commandos.

The 919th SOMDS is charged with all readiness-related medical support for the wing. Their primary functions include Physical Health Assessments, individual medical readiness tasks, and deployment in- and out-processing.

With the return of its own medical services, the Citizen Air Commandos of the 919th SOW can expect easier access to appointments, quicker case turn-around time, and a more responsive readiness process.

Since 2014, the 919th SOMDS had been operating its medical services out of the 1st Special Operation Wing's clinic on Hurlburt Field, Florida. It was a fortunate partnership and allowed medical services to continue during the unit training assemblies, but it did not come without challenges.

In addition to the burden of time and travel placed on the wing's members, the geographic distance made it difficult for the 919th SOMDS to feel like a cohesive unit.

"Communication was really challenging," said Capt. Nicole Graves, medical readiness officer. "We faced a slew of problems, and we weren't able to streamline anything."

Now that they are home, the Mighty Medics of the 919th are looking forward to being better equipped and resourced to meet the needs of the wing.

"Our focus now is finally on our case backlog,” said Senior Master Sgt. Christopher Cook, the 919th SOMDS’s senior Air Reserve Technician. "We've only been able to do the bare minimum for so long, so we appreciate everyone's patience as we catch up. By this summer, we will have the processes and the means to be much more responsive."

Members of the 919th SOW can now access their SOMDS in Building 3120 for their PHA services, laboratory work, immunizations, and dental and optometry exams.

Some services are now located across the street in Building 3122. These include audiology, gas mask fit tests, and deployment processing.

To schedule PHAs, 919th SOW members must contact their Unit Health Monitor. Deployment processing is handled during UTA weekends and from 8 - 10:30 a.m. Mondays, Tuesday, Thursdays, and Fridays. All other services accept walk-ins.

To best communicate with the 919th SOMDS, wing members are encouraged to use the following organizational emails:

For medical questions and correspondence including profile requests, 101s, and medical documentation submission: USAF Eglin AFB 919 SOW Mailbox 919 SOMDS SGN usaf.eafb.919-sow.mbx.919-somds-sgn@mail.mil

For all dental correspondence, including form DD2813 submissions: USAF Eglin AFB 919 SOW Mailbox 919 SOMDS SGD usaf.eafb.919-sow.mbx.919-somds-sgd@mail.mil

For the 919th SOMDS, the re-opening of their building is an important milestone, both for the unit’s own morale, and for the important contributions they make to the 919th SOW's readiness standards.

"I am so proud of our Mighty Medics," said Lt. Col. Joseph Catalino, 919th SOMDS commander. "We conducted full operations in the new building for the first time in years [this month] and it went famously. Their performance exceeded expectations, even at the Wing level! Now, it's business as usual, and we're just glad to be home."