“Our mission has not slowed down during the pandemic and we've processed over 5,500 COVID-screening questionnaires to ensure mitigation of any risk prior to our AE patients getting manifested on any mission,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Sylvia Kim, Mission Support chief, TPMRC-E. “In addition to our employing military aircraft such as the C-17 Globemaster III and the C-130 Hercules to conduct AE sorties, we've also worked closely with International-SOS to secure civilian air ambulance missions, providing urgent and priority coronavirus patient movements from Kosovo, Georgia, Poland, Djibouti, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Iraq, and Morocco.”
Last spring, at the height of the pandemic’s international eruption, the TPMRC-E coordinated the movement of a COVID-positive contractor from Afghanistan to Germany and during the AF flight, the individual coded (almost died) twice. But the onboard medical professionals AE staff and a Critical Care Air Transport Tea, (CCATT)) saved his life, and the follow-on treatment and compassionate care provided by the Landstuhl Regional Medical (LMRC), Landstuhl, Germany, enabled him to safely return home.
In addition, in October, the TPMRC-E organized an AE mission assisting a five-member family infected with the coronavirus from Saudi Arabia to Ramstein. The active duty father originally contacted COVID and was aeromedically evacuated two days prior, and eventually, the mother and three children.
“Originally, the mom, dad, and youngest daughter tested positive, but there were no test results for the oldest daughter or 20-month old infant son when the AE flight was requested. But we did get the results within 24 hours of the original request,” U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Robert Gonzales, patient movement controller, TPMRC-East. “We did not want to break up the family in this situation. With the entire family COVID-19 positive, there was a silver lining in the gray cloud.”
And the TPMRC-E balances other critical, life-saving AE missions, while leading the execution of more than 97 percent of all coronavirus patient movements for the DOD.
“Everybody serving in TPMRC-E has stepped up. It’s been a tremendous effort,” Gonzales said. “We’ve done so many COVID patients movements, transporting over 300 DoD patients. Each one is special.”
USTRANSCOM exists as a warfighting combatant command to project and sustain military power at a time and place of the nation’s choosing. Powered by dedicated men and women, TRANSCOM underwrites the lethality of the Joint Force, advances American interests around the globe, and provides our nation's leaders with strategic flexibility to select from multiple options, while creating multiple dilemmas for our adversaries.