CASF ensures smooth transition for wounded warriors

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Hailey Haux
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Wounded, away from loved ones and no idea what's going to happen next can be physically and mentally draining for those service members who get injured while on deployment.

Airmen from the Contingency Aeromedical Staging Facility are trained medical professionals whose job it is to ensure those injured down range have a smooth transition back home and into the arms of their loved ones.

"We can't wait until we get wheels up," said Senior Airman Michael Fromme, CASF medical technician. "Just knowing all those patients are on their way home is the best part, you can ask anyone here."

Arriving to work in the morning, Airmen from the CASF are dedicated to ensuring their mission runs smooth.

"As a shift leader, I do a lot of prep and planning and I really enjoy it," said Fromme. "For outbound days, I'll know what the mission is going to be the night before. Then the entire CASF team does a lot of mission prep the night before, such as taking equipment up to [Landstuhl Regional Medical Center], or get patients' baggage and scanning it."

Shortly after arriving at work, members from the CASF head to LRMC to pick up patients and take them back to the CASF to have their vitals checked while another team goes to pick up the in-patient service members, all the while a third team will have all the baggage palletized.

"There are a lot of moving parts and it's all time sensitive," said Fromme.  "Things need to be done at a certain time and teamwork is paramount. Our trust is what really gets us through it all. Everyone knows their job and if someone is tasked to do something, we know that they are going to do it and that it will get done correctly."

On the go from the moment CASF Airmen step through the door, it is important to have flexability in order to overcome any obstacles that may arise during the mission, continued Fromme.

Once the patients are at the CASF, they are briefed on the mission; what will happen, departure time, etc.

"Coming through the CASF has been an amazing experience," said U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Adam Pawlowski, wounded warrior. "This is the best treatment I have received so far. The medical staff has made me feel so comfortable I am actually sad to leave."

After all luggage is checked and scanned, the patients then load the bus to head to the aircraft.

"You hear all the time in the military that our greatest asset is our personnel and along with our personnel comes their families," said Fromme. "I deal with people on some of their worst days and helping them get back home means a lot to me. I believe it is my duty to help those who have made a sacrifice and take care of them to the best of my ability."

After receiving the wheels up call, the CASF team feels tremendous pride knowing they just helped those service members get one step closer to their loved ones, continued Fromme.

"Without working other people's job, I would say that I have the best job because it's extremely rewarding," said Fromme. "We work a lot of long hours and a lot of late hours but the ability to make someone's life a little better when they are having a really hard time is an amazing feeling. I love my job and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world."