Tag Archives: guardsmen

153rd Airlift Wing welcomes new wing commander

Col. Barry Deibert assumed command of the Wyoming Air National Guard’s 153rd Airlift Wing during a July 11, change of command ceremony at the wing headquarters, in Cheyenne.

Col. Justin Walrath relinquished command, and will now serve as the air liaison officer for the Wyoming Air National Guard.

In Deibert’s address to the wing, he challenged the experienced members of the 153rd to inspire our young airmen to dream and to always make sure they know they are important.

“I promise you that I will work the entire time I’m in this job to ensure that you know, you are important,” said Deibert.

“This wing has done and will continue to do great things.”

“Be proud of who you are and what you’re capable of, you truly are the best of the best,” added Deibert.

Col. Deibert has been with the 153rd since 1986 when he enlisted as a young avionics systems specialist.  He went on to receive his commission and earned his pilot wings in 1993. Deibert has served as the wing’s aircraft maintenance squadron and group commander.

The 153rd Airlift Wing is Wyoming’s sole Air National Guard wing and has a primary mission of providing combat airlift. The wing is also responsible for organizing, training, and equipping a force capable of conducting effective and sustained operations in support of the nation, state, and community.

 

U.S. Air National Guard photos by Staff Sgt. Jon Alderman.

Photos can be downloaded at https://www.flickr.com/photos/wyoguard/albums/72157715088442842

Watch the full change of the command here, brought to you by the WY National Guard’s state and wing Public Affairs Team:

 

Partnership Results in Success

In a time of crisis, the Wyoming Public Health Laboratory (WPHL), which is part of the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) is collaborating with the Wyoming National Guard’s 84th Civil Support Team (CST) to deploy the CST’s mobile laboratory at the WPHL to support increased COVID-19 testing capacity.

The CST and WPHL have been partnering since early March when two CST laboratorians joined the WPHL surge team to perform COVID-19 testing.

The mobile laboratory is equipped with a rapid diagnostic testing platform that will allow for more testing to be performed at WPHL as well as a faster turnaround time for high-priority specimens.

Capt. Sarah Brewer, Nuclear Medical Science Officer, and Capt. Kevin Messamer, Medical Operations Officer, run the mobile laboratory.

“They have been very flexible in applying their high-level skills to this particular problem and also done a lot of work in cultivating and developing the partnership with the state lab and the relationships that we have with the folks there,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jonathan Seelye, commander of the 84th CST. “I’m really proud of them for doing that.”

Cari Sloma, WPHL director with WDH, said she believed WPHL staff members had really stepped up to accommodate Wyoming’s COVID-19 testing needs. “Together with partners such as the CST, our entire team has worked hard to bring on testing, expand our capacity, and find ways to support the sample collection needs of healthcare facilities across the state. Looking ahead, we’re really excited about the new testing capabilities the CST crew is helping us bring in.”

To date, Brewer and Messamer have helped WPHL test 788 samples. Last week, the CST team received rapid testing equipment that will increase their total capacity to 320 samples per week.

Seelye explained that the equipment will allow them to provide the highest level of support they can by focusing on accelerating the results of certain high-priority COVID tests.

“I think we are developing and growing an already fantastic relationship with WDH. I believe working with other state agencies in Wyoming has always been a pleasure,” said Seelye. “It’s the Wyoming way. We roll up our sleeves and we find a way to do what we need to do for the people of Wyoming. I’m proud that the CST can be a part of that and provide support to the state.”

Seelye noted the pandemic can remind people of the importance of the state lab and the unique federal-state partnership with the Wyoming National Guard. “Working together greatly benefits Wyoming during this fight to control the spread of COVID-19,” said Seelye.

For more information about COVID-19 from WDH, visit:

https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/infectious-disease-epidemiology-unit/disease/novel-coronavirus/.

To learn more about State of Wyoming COVID-19 resources and response efforts, visit: https://covid19.wyo.gov/.

To view and download the full gallery, visit our Flickr Account here.

 

 

Wyoming Air National Guard members deploy in support of COVID Task Force West

Nine members of the Wyoming Air National Guard’s 187th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron deployed on April 23 to Travis Air Force Base, California, as part of COVID Task Force West.

The airmen have been tasked to set up a new Aeromedical Evacuation Operations Team for the Air Force’s COVID patient transport operations. Working in a makeshift office space at Travis Air Base, the Wyoming airmen are acting as the operations directors for advanced trained aeromedical evacuation crews.

“Specifically, the Wyoming team is tracking Department of Defense COVID patient movements, incoming and outgoing medical crews and aircraft missions. They are also responsible for tracking flight training and currency as well as maintaining 800 pounds of medical equipment for each aircrew, and the safe on and offload of the Transportation Isolation System (TIS)” said Major Melissa Stevens, executive officer of the 187th AES.

The TIS was initially designed and built for patient transport during the West African Ebola outbreak but was first used operationally on April 10, 2020, to transport U.S. government contractors who tested positive for coronavirus from Afghanistan to Ramstein Air Base. The tracking of these critical medical crews is one of the key functions of the Wyoming guardsmen.

“Having crews that are ready to fly per Air Force regulations is a full-time job”, said Master Sgt. Michael Hensala, health systems specialist of the 187th AES.

“The aeromedical crews flying these COVID patients are also facing a new challenge due to the number of medical personnel on each crew. A typical crew is two flight nurses and three EMTs. These crews consist of a seven-person medical crew with three flight nurses and four EMTs, a three-person critical care air transport team consisting of one doctor, one critical care nurse, one respiratory therapist, and additional infectious disease specialists and Transportation Isolation System (TIS) repair technicians”, added Hensala.

The initial tasking requested that the Wyoming airmen deploy for 120 days with a provision to swap members out at 60 days. COVID Task Force West is one part of the Air Force’s overall COVID responses with multiple hubs across the continental United States, Pacific Air Force and European theaters of operation.

(Photos courtesy of U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Devin Nothstine | Thank you.)