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Joint Task Force-Odyssey Guard Provides Aeromedical Evacuation of Wounded Libyan Freedom Fighters
Joint Task Force-Odyssey Guard Provides Aeromedical Evacuation of Wounded Libyan Freedom Fighters

An eight-member team from the U.S. Air Force's 86th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron and a 10-member team from 10th Air Force is preparing to evacuate 26 seriously wounded fighters to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston and an additional four critical cases to Germany for immediate care.

Two medical teams will fly the injured to medical facilities in Germany and the U.S.
Capt. Jennifer Lewis, an air evacuation nurse from Oakdale, Minn., said the medical team is experienced in critical patient care under pressure.

"There is a lot of experience on the team with several missions to Iraq and Afghanistan," Lewis said. "We work quickly and efficiently with flexibility so that we can ensure the best patient care in the air. With some patients, every second counts," she said.

Before the mission, the team spent several hours checking, and rechecking the medical equipment and supplies.

As she calibrated a heart defibrillator, Humboldt, South Dakota native Capt. Emil Jarding explained how time was a factor in critical patient care during an air evacuation mission.

"We check all our equipment on the ground multiple times to ensure it's at 100 percent," Jarding reported. "Lives depend on our ability to react quickly and efficiently when we are transporting our patients, and sometimes, seconds count," she said.

Within four hours of being alerted, the team can be wheels-up and heading to a medical evacuation mission in Europe, the Middle East or Africa.

"We understand how critical timing can be, and our goal is to be waiting for the aircraft and not the other way around," Lewis said.

Technical Sergeant Owen Barr, a 12-year USAF veteran from Smithfield, R.I., explained the team's mission in direct terms.

"We will take care of our patients to make sure they can receive continued care," Barr said. "Our method is working flexibly with positive execution -- we call it 'flexicution,'" he said.

For more information on this humanitarian air medical evacuation, contact U.S. Army Africa Public Affairs Office at +39.0444.71.7003 or email