by Staff Sgt. Sara Csurilla
51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
2/24/2013 - OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Nearly
40 Airmen from the 121st Medical Group from Rickenbacker Air National
Guard Base, Columbus, Ohio recently arrived here to team up with members
of the 51st Medical Group.
The team, made up of doctors and medical technicians, came to Osan for
two reasons; to help Airmen for the 51st MDG train and to set up an
Expeditionary Medical System.
"We're here for EMEDS training and to help exercise and inventory the
EMEDS here for the 7th Air Force and the 51st MDG," said Col. Michelle
Gavin, 121st MDG commander.
The 51st Fight Wing has three core missions; defend Osan, execute combat
operations and receive follow-on forces. As the 40 Airmen from the Ohio
ANG arrived in the middle of Exercise Beverly Bulldog 13-02, members of
the 51st MDG used the opportunity to realistically train on receiving
those follow-on forces.
"We used this visit to practice receiving those bodies," said Col.
Rawson Wood, 51st MDG commander, and 7th AF surgeon serving for all Air
Force medical forces on the Korean Peninsula. "It allowed 40 members to
arrive to the base under contingency operations and get in-processed and
then to arrive in the MDG and reinforce the approximately 300 Airmen
serving in the hospital. It was really key to receive these forces in
the middle of the exercise to practice one of our three core missions."
After in-processing and providing support to the 51st MDG, the team
headed to Suwon Air Base, just a few miles north of Osan to a set up an
"(We're setting up EMEDS) to ensure this could be a functioning system
in case something happened here on the Korean peninsula that it needed
to be used in a contingency operation," Wood said. "So if something was
to happen on the peninsula where they needed to set up a hospital very
quickly, and the equipment wasn't inventoried and maintained then it
wouldn't be ready."
As part of setting up the EMEDS, the 40-man team built a tent from the
ground up that would be used to house the temporary hospital, tested and
inventoried more than 1,000 pieces of equipment worth more than $1
Million and ran through a few training scenarios to ensure the faculties
"I'm really enjoying being here and doing this mission," said Senior
Airman Megan Betts, 121st MDG technician. "We are a part of Homeland
Response Force back home, and we do a lot of EMEDS training there but
coming out to Korea and training really helps with getting a feel for
being in different environments."
The group of guardsmen stayed for more than a week and took advantage of
their time here by doing as much training as possible and experiencing
South Korea to fully understand how important it is to be prepared and
trained because something could happen here at any time.
"(My favorite part about this mission)is the teamwork and I love the
capability that I can look at almost 40 professionals who I've never met
before and not just by the uniform they wear, but by their capabilities
and their past experiences I know that these are medics who I would
trust to care for me or any of my loved ones in peace time or
contingency time," Wood said.