HomeNewsFeaturesDisplay

Air Forces Northern deploys medical unit to Puerto Rico

U.S. Airmen assigned to 633rd Medical Group, assemble medical tents, Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, Oct. 16, 2017. The 633rd Medical Group is conducting medical evacuation and relief efforts to support FEMA in the recovery process of Puerto Rico after the devastation created by Hurricane Maria. 
(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Nelson Rodriguez)

U.S. Airmen assigned to 633rd Medical Group, assemble medical tents, Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, Oct. 16, 2017. The 633rd Medical Group is conducting medical evacuation and relief efforts to support FEMA in the recovery process of Puerto Rico after the devastation created by Hurricane Maria. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Nelson Rodriguez)

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Air Forces Northern deployed an expeditionary medical support team Friday to Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, to provide Department of Defense medical care in support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Hurricane Maria relief efforts.

Fifty-seven personnel from the 633rd Expeditionary Medical Support (EMEDS) team from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, arrived in advance of the main EMEDS team, and are capable of providing emergency room and surgical care in the vicinity of Aguadilla. The 633rd is currently enhancing civilian and DoD medical capabilities at other locations throughout the island.

“Our number-one priority during a contingency like Hurricane Maria is to save lives and mitigate suffering,” said Daizy Labee, AFNORTH deputy surgeon general. “And, EMEDS provides us the light, lean and life-saving capability to do that.”

Additional EMEDS personnel will deploy to support the effort in Aguadilla as needed.

The EMEDS is a rapidly deployable and modular capability that can be tailored, replicated or combined to specific contingency medical needs. Their unique design allows the Air Force to deploy medical capabilities ranging from small teams to a large medical system that can provide specialized care to a community.

The hospital reaches full operational capability within 60 hours from the time all medical personnel and equipment arrive at the destination.