Critical Hub for Wounded:

The Air Force’s 435th Contingency Aeromedical Staging Facility at Ramstein AB, Germany, has handled nearly 51,000 patients since the war in Iraq began five years ago. Stars and Stripes reported March 25 that the facility is nearing the count of 44,000 total patients from Operation Iraqi Freedom and is close to reaching 7,000 from Operation Enduring Freedom, citing Air Force statistics. Nearly 11,000 of the total patients, about 22 percent, have had battle injuries, the newspaper said. The 435th CASF functions as a terminal for patients coming in from Afghanistan and Iraq who require additional medical attention. From Ramstein, they are transferred either to nearby Landstuhl Regional Medical Center or to a CONUS-based hospital. Ninety-five active duty, Guard, and Reserve personnel run the facility. It reached the 30,000 mark in December 2005.