USAF Helps Navy Gear Up to Treat Evacuated Sailors in Guam

The Air Force’s 36th Wing from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, recently teamed up with Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, and Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, to set up an expeditionary medical facility at U.S. Naval Hospital Guam to treat U.S. Navy sailors evacuated from their COVID-19-ravaged aircraft carrier.

“Our mission here is to help support the Navy operations with the USS  [Theodore] Roosevelt,” said 36th Medical Group Administrator Lt. Col. Damian Pardue in an April 19 release. “We are ready for whatever we are needed for during this unprecedented time.”

Almost 700 of the Roosevelt’s sailors have tested positive for the new coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 respiratory disease as of April 20, Politico reported.

An Expeditionary Medical Support System, also known as an EMEDS, is a modular, medical response package that can be used for wartime contingencies, humanitarian assistance, or disaster relief. The system being set up on the naval hospital’s grounds contains medical and warehouse units. It will give the hospital 25 more beds for COVID-19 patients and storage space for medical equipment used to treat them, according to the release.

USAF is also providing 77 personnel to staff the expeditionary medical facility.

In addition to helping the hospital nurse U.S. sailors from the USS Theodore Roosevelt back to health and seaworthiness, this system and staffing will equip the hospital to better support the island’s battle against the virus, the release stated.

The U.S. Navy undertook a similar effort, assembling a “150-bed Expeditionary Medical Facility” at Naval Base Guam that, if called upon, will be able to support the Defense Department’s regional coronavirus response, according to an April 21 tweet.