Just Another Day at the Office

Two Air Force C-17s and one C-130, along with multiple aircrews, aeromedical evacuation teams, and agencies from around the world, came together in late July to help save the life of a British soldier who was seriously wounded in Afghanistan. This soldier had sustained multiple gunshot wounds to the abdomen and chest. Medical personnel determined that he had to be taken to Germany for upgraded care. Immediately, Air Mobility Command officials sprang into action to coordinate the complex task of the patient’s move. “Not only did we have to find a plane and crew to fly the patient out of theater, but also we had to find another plane and aircrew to get the right medical personnel and equipment into Afghanistan because we needed specialized medical teams to care for the patient in-flight,” said Col. John Martins, director of operations of the 618th Tanker Airlift Control Center at Scott AFB, Ill. Despite the Herculean challenge, the patient was on a C-17 heading to Ramstein Air Base within 22 hours of the first call for help. He arrived at Ramstein on Aug. 2, and as of Aug. 4 was at a university hospital in Germany in critical condition—but alive. “When you look at the requirements we had, its awe inspiring to see how many people will come together to save one life,” said MSgt. Keyser Voigt, an aeromedical evacuation mission controller in the TACC. (Scott report by Capt. Justin Brockhoff)