Feature   Defense News

Mobility Airmen Transport Medics, Supplies in COVID-19 Fight

April 9, 2020 | BY Air Force Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman

Air Force Reserve mobility airmen from California answered an urgent request to deploy medical personnel to New York to help combat COVID-19.

Within a few hours of notification April 5, an aircrew from March Air Reserve Base took to the sky in a C-17 Globemaster III transport jet, bound for Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey.

Two airmen wearing protective masks walk away from a large transport jet.
Airmen Walk
Airmen assigned to the 60th Medical Group walk toward a medical bus at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., April 5, 2020. The airmen assisted Air Force Reserve medics from Travis and Beale Air Force bases and March Air Reserve Base, all in California, as they boarded a C-17 Globemaster III bound for Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., to support the fight against COVID-19. Photo was altered for security reasons.
Photo By: Air Force Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman
VIRIN: 200405-F-YM354-0180


A crew from March's 452nd Air Mobility Wing departed with Air Force Reserve medics from the 940th Air Refueling Wing at Beale Air Force Base, the 349th AMW at Travis Air Force Base and the 452nd AMW at March.

''It's important to get our reservists out the door quickly to help combat the spread of COVID-19 and take care of Americans,'' said Brig. Gen. Stacey Scarisbrick, Air Force Reserve Command Force Generation Center commander.

An airman wearing a white face mask walks away from a white bus marked with a red cross.
Medical Bus
Air Force Capt. Luke Vera, 60th Dental Squadron, exits from a medical bus at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., April 5, 2020. Vera assisted Air Force Reserve medics from Travis and Beale Air Force bases and March Air Reserve Base, all in California, as they boarded a C-17 Globemaster III bound for Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., to support the fight against COVID-19.
Photo By: Air Force Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman
VIRIN: 200405-F-YM354-0123


Air Force Reserve Command mobilized more than 120 doctors and nurses, along with respiratory technicians, who were flown to New Jersey for further in-processing with the U.S. Northern Command's Joint Forces Land Component Command.

The medical professionals were slated for follow-on movement to New York City's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, a 2,910-bed field hospital, which is one of the largest in the United States.

A man wearing blue coveralls and an orange vest marshals an aircraft into position.
Globemaster Direction
Jack Inman, a transient alert aircraft servicer, marshals a C-17 Globemaster III at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., April 5, 2020. The aircraft arrived from March Air Reserve Base, Calif. to transport Air Force Reserve medics to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., to support the fight against COVID-19. About 30 minutes after landing, the C-17 was back in the sky.
Photo By: Air Force Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman
VIRIN: 200405-F-YM354-0235


''California is stepping up to help our fellow Americans in New York and across the country who are being impacted the hardest right now by the COVID-19 pandemic,'' said California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The governor announced April 6 that the state would loan 500 state-owned ventilators to the states most affected by COVID-19, starting with New York, which had more than 122,000 cases of the virus as of April 6.

A large transport jet leaves the ground during takeoff.
C-17 Globemaster III Takeoff
A C-17 Globemaster III takes off from Travis Air Force Base, Calif., April 5, 2020. The aircraft arrived from March Air Reserve Base, Calif., to transport Air Force Reserve medics to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., to support the fight against COVID-19.
Photo By: Air Force Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman
VIRIN: 200405-F-YM354-0320


Air Force Command Chief Master Sgt. Derek Crowder of the 60th Air Mobility Wing, said the country must come together to fight COVID-19 and that Travis Air Force Base is ready to help the nation in any way.

''It doesn't matter if you're an active-duty airman, civilian or a reservist — we are here to answer the call at a moment's notice,'' he said. ''We are in this together, and we will get through this together."

(Air Force Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman is assigned to the 60th Air Mobility Wing.)