Letter to the Hon. Barbara Barrett, Secretary of the United States Air Force - Portman, Brown, Ohio Delegation Urge Air Force Secretary to Station Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron with 179th Airlift Wing at Mansfield-Lahm Air National Guard Base
Dear Secretary Barrett,
We write to express our support to locate the latest Air National Guard (ANG) Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron (AES) with the 179th Airlift Wing (AW) at the Mansfield-Lahm Air National Guard Base (MLANG).
Based on the basing criteria that the Air Force is using to make its decision, it is clear that the 179 AW is uniquely suited for this important mission. Recruiting and retaining highly qualified medical professionals, specifically nurses and medics will be critical for the AES mission. The current manning for the 179 Medical Group (MDG) is 130 percent, with a waitlist of nurses who could immediately begin the AES mission. Ohio has Flight Nurses and Medics in the 179 MDG, and with other ANG units throughout the state, which have previous AES experience; thus making the 179 AW the logical Wing for the mission. Mansfield is located within 85 miles of premier nursing programs ranging from associate degrees, four year registered nursing programs, Masters and Doctorate programs, which would serve as a direct pipeline for nurses into the AE mission.
In addition to its ability to recruit and retain medical professionals the current end strength for the 179 AW is 112 percent with an effective manning rate of over 87 percent. Guardsmen from the 179 Operations Group (OG) currently provides C-130 training support to the 911 AES in Pittsburgh, and the 179 AW has participated in Aeromedical Evacuation Exercises, including the recent Silver Arrow Mission in September 2019. Additionally the Air National Guard selected the 179 MDG as a future Critical Care Air Transport Team.
Additionally, the 179 AW benefits from being co-located with the RED HORSE and Civil Engineering units at the Mansfield Lahm Airport. These critical specialties dovetail with the AES mission and could act as a capability multiplier for specific missions.
Thank you for your consideration of the 179 AW as the possible recipient of the AES.