Global Vikings deploy to combat COVID-19

  • Published
  • By Maj. William-Joseph Mojica
  • 934th Airlift Wing

With less than a 24-hour notice, doctors and nurses assigned to the 934th Airlift Wing boarded a C-130, April 5, headed for Joint Base McGuire-Lakehurst, N.J. where they teamed with more than 120 Reserve Citizen Airmen who are medical professionals throughout Air Force Reserve Command and help with the fight against COVID-19 in New York City.

“I can’t tell you how more impressed I am with the 934th and processing through in less than 24-hours some of our professionals,” said Col. Chris Lay, 934th Airlift Wing commander. “Thank you!  And to those heading out the door, and those that will eventually follow, I wish you the best thoughts and prayers.”

Through the volunteer process, 934th Aeromedical Staging Squadron members were screened for impact to their civilian communities and professions.

“From our IMAs to our Reserve medics, I couldn’t be prouder of this incredible Reserve team who stepped up quickly to answer our nation’s call,” said Lt. Gen. Richard Scobee, AFRC commander and Chief of the Air Force Reserve.

After arriving at JBML, the medical professionals are headed to the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. This temporary hospital constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers is part of N.Y. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s goal of having a 1,000-plus patient overflow facility operating in each NYC borough as well as Westchester, Rockland, Nassau and Suffolk counties.

It isn’t easy to mobilize civilians into military status normally, much less within two days.  However, the leadership across the Air Force Reserve leaned forward to pre-identify volunteers from the Selected Reserve - which are Reserve Citizen Airmen currently actively serving in the Reserve.

“Using SELRES member volunteers enabled the FGC [Force Generation Center] to do a quick-turn to meet this first of many expected taskings coming to the Reserve component from the DoD,” said Brig. Gen. Stacey Scarisbrick, FGC commander. “It’s important to get our Reservists out the door quickly to help combat the spread of COVID-19 and take care of Americans.”

In addition to deploying to help the home-front, some of these same medical professionals from the 934 ASTS also recently re-deployed earlier this year from overseas contingency operations.