AMC C-17s give reach to the hands that heal

Healthcare professionals requested by the National Disaster Medical System and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are aboard a C-17 Globemaster III as part of the Hurricane Irma response.

Healthcare professionals requested by the National Disaster Medical System and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are aboard a C-17 Globemaster III as part of the Hurricane Irma response.

15th Airlift Squadron officer on a flight for a hurricane

1st Lt Alexander LeBlanc, 15th Airlift Squadron, Charleston, S.C. views flight information through a tablet before a C-17 Globemaster III flight in response to Hurricane Irma.

Air Mobility Command C-17 Globemaster IIIs from Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, Dover Air Force Base, Delaware and March Air Reserve Base, California, were tasked by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in coordination with various state and federal agencies to transport approximately 300 healthcare professionals from Washington Dulles International Airport to Florida Orlando International Airport in preparation for Hurricane Irma disaster response operations.   

Air Mobility Command's 618th Air Operations Center, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, planned the movement of C-17s in coordination with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The 618 Air Operations Center (Tanker Airlift Control Center) plans, tasks and executes airlift, aerial refueling and aeromedical evacuation missions throughout the globe. Before hurricanes strike, the AOC postures aircrews and aircraft to be ready to respond at a moment's notice. If called upon, 618 AOC commands and controls the evacuation of personnel prior to the hurricane. After disaster strikes and if the DoD is asked to support relief operations, the AOC provides command and control for delivery of contingency response teams, search and rescue personnel, aeromedical evacuation, personnel evacuation, and humanitarian aid and disaster relief supplies.   

"When called, our Airmen are ready to respond whenever and wherever required," said Gen. Carlton D. Everhart II, Air Mobility Command commander. "They provide assurance and relief to those in need and facing difficult circumstances."   

The healthcare professionals, consisting of physicians, nurses, veterinary staff, paramedics, fatality management professionals, and experienced command and control staff, are part of the National Disaster Medical System which provides response capabilities to augment existing healthcare systems in affected areas.  The NDMS is a federally administered program that can support communities with medical care and mortuary assistance during disasters or public health emergencies, and is among the resources made available by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.