132d Med Group supports “Team Iowa Med, Overseas Duty Tour in Germany
By Maj. Brandon Cochran and Staff Sgt. Michael J. Kelly, 132d Wing Public Affairs
/ Published July 26, 2018
Kaiserslautern, Germany --
Continuing the cross-service momentum gained during a July 2017 medical training rotation at Sustainment Training Center, Soldiers and Airmen from the Iowa National Guard supported a 21-day Overseas Duty Tour (ODT) mission to augment medical support and operations in Germany July 1-21, 2018.
Over the 21-day period spent on station, the MEDHAWKS and their ARNG counterparts filled a critical staffing need during peak Permanent Change of Station (PCS) and Annual Leave season. In the end, the three MEDHAWKS supported a combined total of 164 patients and 25 OBGYN patients as well as numerous Emergency Room (ER) follow-ups, and more than 63 telephone “sick call” consults. They also participated in several exercises – including a mass casualty incident- and medical courses including battlefield acupuncture.
When medical provider shortfalls presented, the 209th Medical Company (Area Support) (MCAS) reached out to the 132d Medical Group (MEDHAWKS) for a helping hand. Supporting the second of two ODT rotations this summer, three MEDHAWKS worked shoulder-to-shoulder with Soldiers of the 209th MCAS to provide family practice medical care for Active Duty Soldiers, their families, and retirees at Kleber and Baumholder Army Health Clinics as well as obstetric support at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.
“Upon arrival at Frankfurt Airport, we all loaded up into the same van headed for Kaiserslautern,” said Capt. Madonna Hagen, 132d MDG nurse. “By the time we arrived, there was no ARNG or Air National Guard (ANG) team. We were there to support the same mission; one team, one fight.”
The MEDHAWKS were able to work closely with their Army counterparts, an experience they enjoyed and learned from.
“The comradery and professionalism across the whole of the team was second-to-none,” said Maj. Tonja Winekauf, 132d MDG nurse practitioner. “We were all exposed to a universal patient care philosophy that is applicable to all branches of the military. The ARNG medics were very well trained, and had great attitudes. ‘Team Iowa Med’ made significant contributions to patient care while on station.”
The MEDHAWKS look to continue participating in joint medical training and operations in the future and realize that their efforts can have long lasting effects.
“The ability to make a difference on a mission with the skills we had to offer will stick with us,” said Lt. Col. Jack Swanson, 132d MDG flight surgeon. “We all realized that working collaboratively across the ARNG and ANG is very much possible as well as very effective. Our aim was to provide quality medical care, and we met it. This was a great opportunity as well as both an honor and privilege to join fellow Iowans and Soldiers in support of an ODT.”