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23d MDG enables 15th ASOS mission

Photo of two Airmen posing for a photo.

Lt. Col. Gregory Riddle, left, 23d Aerospace Medical Squadron flight surgeon, and Staff Sgt. Danny Smith, 23d AMDS medical technician, pose for a photo Feb. 21, 2020, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. The 23d Medical Group partnered with the 15th Air Support Operations Squadron to expedite the medical clearance process for Airmen at Fort Stewart, Georgia. The 23d MDG staff performed flight physicals for 15th ASOS members, enabling the unit to further their training and reduce traveling expenses. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Azaria E. Foster)

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --

The 23d Medical Group partnered with the 15th Air Support Operations Squadron to expedite the medical clearance process for Airmen at Fort Stewart, Georgia.

One 23d MDG flight surgeon and medical technician performed flight physicals for 15th ASOS tactical air control party specialists, enabling the unit to expedite training and reduce traveling expenses.

“Without a doubt, this impacts the mission pretty heavily,” said Lt. Col. Gregory Riddle, 23d Aerospace Medical Squadron flight surgeon and sport medicine physician. “[This partnership] will allow 80 TAC-Ps in the 15th ASOS to continue performing ground-based controlling duty in garrison and while deployed.”

The 93d Air Ground Operations Wing TAC-Ps are stationed at U.S. Army installations, which can make the currency requirement to have a flight physical exam every 12 to 15 months difficult.

“Since they're on an Army base, they would have to come TDY here in order to remain on ground-based controlling duty,” Riddle said. “[Instead, a] medical technician and I performed flight physical exams for the 15th ASOS Airmen [at their home station].”

According to Riddle, this new initiative saved the 15th ASOS approximately $24K in travel costs and more than 900 hours in lost mission time.

“It allows the members to be assessed…health-wise,” said Lt. Col Michael Primiano, 15th ASOS commander. “Doctors get them fully mission qualified so that they can go drop bombs and be able to deploy in support of our [combatant commanders’] efforts.”

Riddle and his team received dual credentials to perform flight physicals at Fort Stewart, saving members of the 15th ASOS a trip to Moody.

“So, you're talking 80 individuals, six hours transit time, and a complete loss of at least one training day here,” Primiano said. “A training day could be spent on the range, controlling aircraft, dropping bombs or strafing. It could be a training day for other lethality training, weapons and tactics, or readiness briefs. So, having [medics] come [to Fort Stewart] obviously saves an entire day.”

Due to TAC-Ps having to travel to various locations to stay current in their training, this partnership not only gave the 15th ASOS members more time to train, but also more time to spend with their families.