Throughout 2020, there were many significant milestones achieved by numerous organizations across WPAFB. Here are some of the milestones, events, COVID-19 related actions, awards and other things that contributed to overall mission success:
· Col. Patrick Miller accepted command of the 88 ABW during a ceremony at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on June 12. Lt. Gen. Robert McMurry, then the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center commander, outlined Miller’s successful 22-year service track record. Miller reminded the audience this is his second tour at WPAFB, having been an instructor as a captain at the Air Force Institute of Technology’s Graduate School of Civil Engineering and Management 14 years ago.
Gen. Mike Holmes (left), commander of Air Combat Command, and Gen. Arnold W. Bunch Jr., commander of Air Force Material Command, both sign a memorandum between the two major commands during the Technology and Acquisition Sustainment Review conference Jan. 29 at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. The commanders are taking an active approach to ensuring a collaboration channel exists between acquisition program offices and operational wings. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO/MASTER SGT. DARYL KNEE
· Gen. Arnold Bunch Jr., commander of Air Force Materiel Command, and Gen. Mike Holmes, commander of Air Combat Command, signed a memorandum of agreement between the two major commands during the Technology and Acquisition Sustainment Review conference Jan. 29 at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. The commanders are taking an active approach to ensuring a collaboration channel exists between acquisition program offices and operational wings. The agreement creates a new culture paradigm for the acquisition and operational communities, focused on improved communication and continuous collaboration. It also establishes a framework for bilateral immersions of Airmen to create better understanding of the maintenance and operational requirements of a weapons system throughout its life cycle.
WPAFB launched its campaign to address social justice, diversity and inclusion concerns July 10. The physically distanced 5K Ruck March/Walk for Social Justice & Diversity Inclusion was held at Bass Lake and included waves of dozens of Airmen, civilians and other participants. A second event was held to address social justice and diversity inclusion concerns July 16. The “Racial Disparity Summit: Listen to Understand From All Perspectives” was a no-rank, no-uniform, off-base event that offered an open discussion forum for all Airmen to have their voices heard, share their experiences, gain understanding and perspective, and support one another in the journey toward social and racial justice. The forum was organized by Master Sgt. Jesus Gonzalez, Senior Master Sgt. Starr Williams, Master Sgt. Durell Lawton and Senior Master Sgt. Quami King.
88th Force Support Squadron members Staff Sgt. Jamille Hicks (left), Staff Sgt. Melchizedek Martin (center) and Air Force Institute of Technology student 1st.Lt. Mike Hughes participate in the Airman’s Fight Against Social Injustice and For Diversity Inclusion 5K Ruck March at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, July 10. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO/TY GREENLEES
Credit: Ty Greenlees
Credit: Ty Greenlees
· Brig. Gen. Heather Pringle, Air Force Research Laboratory commander
· Jacqueline Janning-Lask, Senior Executive Service, AFRL Sensors Directorate director
· Dr. Timothy Bunning, SES, AFRL chief technology officer
· Maj. Jonathan Polston, 788th Civil Engineer Squadron commander
· Anthony “Tony” Everidge, SES, Air Force Installation Contracting Center executive director
· Chief Master Sgt. Jason Shaffer, 88 ABW command chief
· Lt. Col. Nathaniel Peace, 18th Intelligence Squadron commander, 544th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group
· Col. Christian Lyons, 88th Medical Group commander
· Derrick Brashears, privatized housing advocate
· Brig. Gen. Jeannine Ryder, AFRL’s 711th Human Performance Wing commander
· Lt. Gen. Shaun Morris, AFLCMC commander
· Chief Master Sgt. Jeremy Carlson, AFIT superintendent of education for the Civil Engineer School and chief enlisted manager
· C. Anthony “Tony” Braswell, AFLCMC director of contracting
COVID-19 responses, adaptations and innovations
· On March 17, the Wright-Patterson Medical Center began limiting entry to the medical facility to ensure the health and safety of patients, staff and visitors, designating only two entry points. The two entry points allowed staff the opportunity to institute precautionary screening for patients, staff and visitors before entering. Other WPAFB facilities closed or reduced hours of operation. Base officials formed a COVID-19 Incident Command Center on March 23 at the WPMC. Led by Lt. Col. (Dr.) Hui Ling Li, base public health officer, as the incident commander, and advised by base Fire Chief Jacob King, the ICC is comprised of subject-matter experts from other areas of responsibility such as Public Health, Operations, Planning, Logistics, Security Forces, Finance and Administration.
ICC coordinates information and requests with the base Emergency Operations Center, Crisis Action Team, installation leadership, first responders and medical officials as they continue to work closely with the Ohio Department of Health to coordinate prevention and response efforts in the local area. When an individual associated with WPAFB tested positive for COVID-19, a key team in the 88th Medical Group’s Public Health Flight traced that person’s close contacts to prevent further spread.
Air Force personnel prepare to screen patients in front of the Wright-Patterson Medical Center March 16. The 88th Medical Group staff began screening patients before they entered the medical center as part of the COVID-19 protocol instituted at the facility. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO/TY GREENLEES
· The 88th Communications Squadron worked in conjunction with 16th Air Force to provide as much capability as possible to perform operations remotely. Today’s network was not engineered to support the telework level trying to be executed, but changes were made daily (sometimes hourly) to make improvements.
· Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and to protect the health and safety for more than 25,000 participants, volunteers and guests, Air Force officials canceled the 2020 Air Force Marathon, set for Sept. 19, except for the Virtual Race. This year would have marked the 24th annual event with more than 13,000 runners from all 50 states and many countries participating. Ironically, the new Virtual Race was added to allow runners from all over the world to join in from afar, and it sold out. Participants could virtually complete the Air Force Marathon, half marathon, 10K, 5K, Tailwind Trot or Fly! Fight! Win! Challenge Series race. For the Virtual Race, runners ran their selected distances in September; once completed, participants received their 2020 bib, medal, race shirt and a 20 percent discount to any 2021 Air Force Marathon race.
· AFIT students developed a predictive modeling app called COVID-19 Health Assessment Dashboard to provide a centralized location for Air Force leadership to receive up-to-date pandemic information specifically tailored to military installations and the surrounding local areas.
A doctor and several nurses from the 445th Airlift Wing’s Aerospace Medicine and Aeromedical Staging Squadrons board a C-17 Globemaster III at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base April 5, heading to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. The Airmen were notified April 4 that they would be mobilized to New York City to help with the COVID-19 pandemic. They showed up for deployment within 24 hours. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO/PATRICK O’REILLY
· With only 24-hour notice, seven Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 445th Airlift Wing packed their bags and boarded a C-17 Globemaster III bound for New York City, where thousands of people tested positive for COVID-19. The team of Air Force medical professionals volunteered to deploy in response to New York’s coronavirus crisis. The physician, nurse practitioner and five nurses, who are members of the 445th Aeromedical Staging Squadron and 445th Aerospace Medicine Squadron, flew to McGuire AFB, New Jersey, and then continued on to Manhattan, where they joined medical professionals from the civilian sector and all armed services components in response to COVID-19.
· U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine professionals trained medics on Transport Isolation System use to move patients affected by COVID-19 aboard military cargo aircraft. TIS is an infectious disease-containment unit designed to minimize risk to aircrew and medical attendants, while allowing in-flight medical care for patients afflicted by contagions like COVID-19. It represents an important tool in Air Mobility Command’s COVID-19 response to safely transport patients afflicted by the virus.
· AFLCMC’s Air Force CBRN Defense Systems Branch partnered with the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense and other organizations across the Department of Defense and academia to deliver an isolation container prototype to Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, on April 21. The isolation container prototype was slated for testing for potential use as a transport module for individuals infected with the COVID-19 virus and other highly infectious diseases. Rapidly developed in response to U.S. Transportation Command’s Joint Urgent Operational Need, the Negatively Pressurized Conex is designed to fit inside of a C-17 aircraft and enable the safe transport of as many as 28 patients, both ambulatory and on litters, as well as teams of medical professionals to medical facilities around the globe.
· Since WPAFB’s first positive COVID-19 case was announced March 20, Kittyhawk Pharmacy has remained committed to its thousands of active-duty, retiree and eligible veteran customers. Changes were made quickly to ensure continued service to hospital clients as well as safety measures for pharmacy staff. The drive-thru pharmacy deployed Airmen to effectively meet and greet customers at their vehicles, taking information and then bringing medications back to the vehicle. While customers may have fretted about long lines and wait times to get their prescriptions, there were accolades and praises on Facebook and through the Commander’s Direct Line.
· Under a cooperative agreement with the University of Cincinnati, AFRL’s 711 HPW is supporting a first-of-its-kind clinical trial involving closed-loop control of oxygenation during mechanical ventilation. In the long-term, findings from this trial could improve ventilator technology, a key tool in the COVID-19 fight.
· AFRL scientists are working with University of Michigan and Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity researchers to build and test a revolutionary chemical sensing device that can detect acute respiratory disease syndrome associated with COVID-19 deaths.
Master Sgt. James Chase of Air Force Research Laboratory’s 711th Human Performance Wing Biodynamics team prepares an instrumented 250-pound test device, simulating a human occupant, for seat testing on the Horizontal Impulse Accelerator, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The test is one of a series recently conducted to support the acceptance and implementation of the Portable Biocontainment Care Module, which will aid in the safe transport of personnel affected by infectious diseases, including COVID-19. COURTESY PHOTO/INFOSCITEX CORP., CHRISTOPHER ALBERY
· Air Force Marathon director Brandon Hough gave runners a taste of the marathon experience and held livestreams on Facebook the morning of Sept. 19, which would have been the actual day of the marathon. During the streaming, a group of junior Airmen made up of the recipients of “Gift an Airman” registration and 88th Security Forces members had the opportunity to run their selected races.