JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas --
Through the faint glow of night, a medic provides lifesaving care to a fallen teammate in Southwest Asia, doing everything in his power to stabilize the patient until the stretcher gets into a hospital.
Four months prior, that same medic couldn’t have saved that life had it not been for the 59th Medical Wing’s readiness transformation.
Maj. Chris Parker, 59th Medical Readiness Flight commander, and his team have reimagined the deployment process, with a streamlined process that covers going into a combat zone to participating in humanitarian aid with partner nations.
“Anxiety stemming from preparing for deployment can increase if they have a complex pathway to actually get out the door,” Parker said. “We consolidated required readiness stops for our deployers. Not only does this ease their transition to the AOR, but given our massive number of overseas slots, this helps us efficiently and correctly send our people where they need to go. Our deployment, training manager, equipment team and other previously separated offices are collocated and will move the deploying personnel from area to area until they are all checked off.”
Parker discovered resources were spread across the JBSA area, such as gear issue or the passport office, and were taking members an excessive amount of time to complete. Because of the sheer volume of personnel deploying, not only from the 59th but all of JBSA, members would miss critical deadlines.
“We plan ahead and order just a little more than the expected equipment needed, and keep it all in house along with standing up our own passport agency which reduced the 30 to 45 day process down to 10,” Parker said. “Our discrepancies down range are less than one percent now because of how we’ve come to handle the process, and simultaneously saving a lot of money and time.”
The team partnered with community healthcare centers to form a training partnership, ensuring medics can receive the preparation they need while civilian counterparts learn from the Defense Department’s largest mobility mission Airmen.
“We’ve been able to save a significant amount of money by consolidating training within the San Antonio area by partnering with our civilian healthcare providers all across the city,” Parker said. “We can train almost every AFSC without sending them TDY now thanks to our regional partnerships, allowing us to receive the hands-on experience our Airmen will need when deployed.”
Parker pointed to the routine NATO partners and partnering agencies visit the 59th to integrate processes executed here and also form long-term think tank relationships for continued growth for all parties.
From a Critical Care Air Transport Team member monitoring patients 30,000 feet in the air to an optometrist healing local villagers in developing nations, the streamlined process readiness has innovated directly impacts saving the lives of those in need.