JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- U.S. Air Force Col. Kirsten Aguilar, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and 673d Air Base Wing commander, participated in the 673d Medical Operations Squadron immersion tour at JBER, Alaska, Sept. 24, 2020.
The heart of this tour centered around Aguilar becoming familiar with the 673d MDOS mission and how the Airmen strive each day to enhance the performance and overall health of the military members, retirees and families on the installation.
“The fact is, in order to accomplish our mission, we must personify the MDOS symbol we wear on our sleeve, ‘JBER’s shield’ is a title we must earn every day,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Eric Phillips, 673d MDOS commander. “Our duty to JBER’s Arctic Warriors and their precious families calls on all of us to have an unflinching bias for action and extreme willingness to lean into their challenges head-on. We have to be present…bold…and always ready to engage from the front.”
Aguilar’s tour comprised of in-depth visits to the Medicine, Mental Health, and Emergency Services flights in addition to the Pandemic, Physical and Occupational therapy, Family Health, and Pediatric clinics. Behind the much larger flights and clinics are specialty sections of which she was also able to partake in several experiences prepared for her in advance.
For example, the Neurology clinic highlighted a device called Cephaly, it uses electrical impulses to treat and prevent migraine headaches without the use of medication or side effects. Another, was of an exercise in the Emergency Department involving a cardiac arrest emergency call and ambulatory ride in which Aguilar was immersed in performing effective chest compressions and complete life-saving measures during the response portion.
“I thought it was awesome seeing someone of high rank like our base commander, who’s not even in our career field, doing something outside of their normal job of commanding,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Dylan Mosher, 673d MDOS Aerospace Medical technician. “Actually seeing her perform what we do on a daily basis showed me that she actually cares about us and our mission. It was inspiring and made a lasting impression on me.”
Immersion tours continue to be a powerful tool for commanders to gain a better understanding and new perspective of their squadrons. By participating it allows the 673d MDOS to highlight their Airmen and their role in maintaining the installation’s mission.
“Organizing this was truly both a challenge and a blessing in ensuring she was able to walk in the shoes of our Airmen as well as our Airmen being inspired by a leader that is willing to work along side of them,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Orlando Cabigas, 673d MDOS executive. “Overtime we get used to distinguished visitor briefings and most of the time commanders receive their briefing and just simply move on. Seeing the base and wing commander dedicate a whole day in engaging with our squadron’s mission was a welcomed surprise, her visit was in fact inspirational.”
The MDOS immersion tour checks off as Agulair’s fourth immersion tour since taking command July 14, 2020.