MCMS Physician Fall 2017 - 11

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state mission in addition to the federal mission. Shortly after
my transfer, I had heard about an exercise that was being held
in Lancaster, which would include volunteers from medical
groups from each of the three Pennsylvania Air Guard wings.
This newly-developed concept was a joint Army/Air unit
that would provide second responder CBRN (chemical/
biologic/radiologic/nuclear) capabilities to a mass disaster. I
volunteered to participate, and began my involvement with a
mission that I continue to this day.
The concept is called CERFP - CBRN Enhanced
Response Force Package. The Army Guard supplies command
and control, search and rescue, and decontamination
elements. The Air Guard supplies medical, communications,
and fatality search and retrieval units. The medical unit's
equipment is contained in six pickup trucks and trailers
and one van. When arriving at the site of a disaster, our
unit sets up at the base of the decontamination line. The
organization is similar to a mobile emergency department,
where we provide immediate care to victims of a disaster,
either natural or man-caused. We then stabilize casualties
and prepare them for transport to civilian facilities. Each
member completes lengthy online training in the national
incident management system. The medical unit members
must also complete hazmat ops and hazmat awareness
training. We undergo extensive training in the use of
personal protective equipment, and operating in the CBRN
environment. I have subsequently had the opportunity to
receive advanced training at the US Army Medical Research
Institutes of Infectious Diseases and Chemical Defense in
medical management of chemical and biological casualties.
Additionally, I have received training in medical effects of
ionizing radiation from the Armed Forces Radiobiology
Research Institute. Another invaluable resource is FEMA's
Center for Domestic Preparedness, where I completed a
course in healthcare leadership.

2014, and was appointed Chief Medical Officer. My responsibilities
included organizing and presenting training for all clinical personnel,
providing medical intelligence to command and directing medical
treatment during operational periods. In October 2016, I was
appointed to command the unit. Recently, we completed our threeyear recertification, where we run a full-scale exercise with 250 civilian
volunteers made up with severe, realistic-appearing injuries, and are
graded by headquarters inspectors as to whether we can accomplish our
mission tasks. I'm proud to say that my medical element performed
My participation as a military physician has had a profound impact
on my life. I have extended and challenged myself professionally and
been able to show my appreciation and offer my services to our nation's
heroes. I serve with an outstanding group of individuals, and lead a
team whose mission statement includes the goal of saving lives and
mitigating human suffering. At age 60 I now have to get waivers every
two years to continue participation, and face mandatory retirement at
age 68. I plan to continue in this role as long as the Air Force and the
Air National Guard will have me.

Since this unit is a second responder, it becomes activated
only after local resources have been overwhelmed. Our
members are on call 24/7/365, and are expected to be able
to respond to a central mustering point at Fort Indiantown
Gap within six hours of notification. We then travel to
the incident site and set up operations in no more than an
additional six hours. In order to shorten response time, we are
activated and pre-positioned for all planned national special
security events, such as presidential inaugurations and the
recent DNC convention in Philadelphia.
Originally, participation with this unit was an additional
duty, which means that we volunteered to do this in addition
to our regular assignments. In 2014, the Air National Guard
medical service was realigned, and positions were officially
assigned to this unit within the 193rd Special Operations
Wing in Harrisburg. I transferred to this unit in January

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MCMS Physician Fall 2017

MCMS Physician Fall 2017 - 1
MCMS Physician Fall 2017 - 2
MCMS Physician Fall 2017 - 3
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