Story by SSgt Kevin Schulze on 06/18/2019CAIRO, Ill. (July 18, 2019) Doctors, optometrists, dentists, and various medical technicians from across the Air Force, Navy, Air National Guard, Air Reserve and Navy Reserve have come together for the Delta Area Economic Opportunity Corporation Tri-State Innovative Readiness Training 2019 mission designed to provided military medical personnel with hands-on training experience. The DAEOC Tri-State IRT 2019 has opened no-cost health clinics in Sikeston, Mo.; Barlow, Ky.; and Cairo, Ill. for community members to receive no-cost health care from military providers.
While the majority of military personnel on the DAEOC Tri-State IRT 2019 mission are medical staff, there are many service members supporting the mission in their own fields and receiving beneficial training throughout the process as well.
"A big thing for me is getting the opportunity to learn about things that I may not have time to train on back home," said Air National Guard Airman 1st Class Kenneth Velez, a client systems technician from the 136th Communications Flight, Ft. Worth, Texas. "Missions like this are very important and very valuable, to be able to experience what it's like in an operational training environment."
The need for support staff on a training mission such as the DAEOC Tri-State IRT 2019 is essential in ensuring all operations run as smoothly as possible.
"Even though we are not directly involved in helping the patients, we still have a role to play," said Air National Guard Tech. Sgt. Angel Cedillo, Cairo site communications noncommissioned officer in charge who is a cyber transport specialist from the 136th Communications Flight, Ft. Worth, Texas. "There is still a need for communications support, with email and setting up printers and scanner and laptops, the Public Announcement system, the projector and the sound making sure the internet doesn't go down and focusing on keeping the equipment running smoothly."
Across all three clinic sites, the mission is made possible by several units whose jobs allow for the medical personnel to perform their duties for the community.
"We all play a role, everybody from the administration staff, to the doctors, to public affairs, we all play a small role, but we are all needed regardless of the size," said Velez.
Velez said its a great honor to help support and to learn the capabilities of the medical team and how all the various departments function together. The mission is one that anybody would be honored to be a part of.
The DAEOC Tri-State IRT 2019 clinics will be offering no-cost health care, including optometry, dental, and medical check-ups, until June 22, 2019.