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U.S. Air Force Capt. Erica Eyer, 88th Aerospace Operations Medical Clinic flight commander, gives Julia Cemberci, 88th Medical Group lab technician, her COVID-19 vaccine shot inside the Medical Center, Jan. 5, 2021.

U.S. Air Force Capt. Erica Eyer, 88th Aerospace Operations Medical Clinic flight commander, gives Julia Cemberci, 88th Medical Group lab technician, her COVID-19 vaccine shot inside the Medical Center, Jan. 5, 2021. (Wesley Farnsworth/U.S. Air Force)

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At the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, nearly 1,000 U.S. Air Force personnel, including 55 people from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, have been deployed to help civilian hospitals and care facilities, the Air Force said Thursday.

From Wright-Patterson, a 15-person team has been sent to Maine, a 20-person team to Oklahoma and another 20-person team to Massachusetts, the Air Force said.

“Our Airmen are always proud to serve, but there is something even more special to our team members in providing care to our nation’s citizens alongside our civilian medical partners,” Col. Christian Lyons, the 88th Medical Group commander, said in the Air Force announcement. “Nothing is more inspiring than the military-civilian partnership being demonstrated right now to save lives.”

The Air Force Medical Service has responded as part of the federal COVID-19 response, and today the service has “upwards of 24 active duty and Reserve teams currently deployed across the country,” it said.

Those personnel include pulmonologists, trauma nurses, respiratory therapist and medical technicians.

Civilian medical facilities and other institutions in 34 states are also receiving support from Air National Guard medics.

Wright-Patterson medical personnel have been helping civilian hospitals for months.

In January, the 88th Air Base Wing said a 15-member Air Force team with physicians, nurses, and medics was deployed to support the Mercy Health Care system in Muskegon, Mich. Personnel from the same unit were also sent to Michigan last year.

“As military medics, it is our duty to go where our nation calls us, and that means continuing our COVID-19 mission,” said Lt. Gen. Robert Miller, Air Force Surgeon General. “We ask a lot of our medics, who have played an integral role in the joint fight against COVID-19, working across federal agencies, military departments and the entire health care system.”

Wright-Patt relaxes health protection condition

Taking a cue from improving regional COVID numbers, leaders of Wright-Patterson relaxed the installation’s health protection condition (HPCON) from “Charlie” to “bravo-plus” on Friday, allowing base worker occupancy to gradually rise form 25% to 40%.

A public health emergency declaration remains in effect, the base said on social media.

“We continue to regain ground in the current COVID fight, as our key performance indicators used to determine our local health protection condition level keep improving,” the base said.

The base was under HPCON “Delta” just two weeks ago before moving to Charlie.

“This is a great thing, folks, but let me tell you this doesn’t mean that the pandemic is over,” said Col Patrick Miller, commander of the base’s 88th Air Base Wing and Wright-Patterson installation commander.

(c)2022 the Journal-News (Hamilton, Ohio)

Visit at www.journal-news.com

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