Contingency Medical Facility Opens

The Air Force opened the 59th Contingency Aeromedical Staging Facility at Lackland AFB, Tex., to support wounded troops returning from overseas. The facility will provide medical care to patients for 12 hours to 72 hours while they await transportation to their permanent destination, said Lackland officials. “Texas, being centrally located, along with state-of-the-art facilities at Fort Sam Houston, specialty care at Wilford Hall [Medical Center], and our proximity to the Kelly [Field] flight line, made locating the CASF here operationally sound,” said Maj. Gen. Byron Hepburn, commander of Lackland’s 59th Medical Wing. Officials anticipate one flight per week from Ramstein AB, Germany, to Kelly Field—about a 10-minute drive from Wilford Hall. Air Force Reservists from 14 states currently are staffing the facility, but officials expect active duty members eventually will be assigned there. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was June 15. (Lackland report by Linda Frost)