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105th Airlift Wing flies 17 aeromedical evacuation missions from August through November

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Briana Ross
  • 105th Airlift Wing

Airmen of the New York Air National Guard’s 105th Airlift Wing wrapped up their four-month long support of aeromedical evacuation missions in Europe Nov. 30, 2023.

Between August and November, 28 Airmen from the 105th flew 17 AE missions for a total of 759 flying hours, transporting 560 patients, 2,040 passengers and 2.1 million pounds of cargo.

Aeromedical evacuation is an Air Mobility Command mission designed to provide time sensitive, mission critical care to patients traveling between medical treatment facilities. The 105th's role involves providing a fully crewed C-17 Globemaster III to team up with the 10th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Flight to perform in-air medical care. They evacuate patients from Africa and the Middle East to medical facilities in Germany and the United States.

“We’re proud to support a federal mission like this that really makes a difference in people’s lives,” said Chief Master Sgt. Vincent Fasano, a senior enlisted leader at the 105th Airlift Wing. “It is one of the most rewarding missions out there.”

During the mission, 105th aircrews work alongside Airmen of the 10th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Flight to turn the C-17 into a flying hospital. The aircrew manages loading cargo and supplies while the aeromedical evacuation team ensures patients are comfortable.

“Every mission is different,” says Airman 1st Class Dominic Kopacz, loadmaster for the 137th. “Some patients walk on the jet, and some are carried and cared for the entire flight.”

Once patients are picked up, the AE crew cares for and monitors them until they are brought back to hospitals in Germany and the United States for further treatment.

"I remember we evacuated someone who fell and hit their head,” Kopacz recalled. “They were in critical condition, but we were able to fly them to the care they needed. It feels really good when we drop off patients and know we may have saved their lives.”