Expanded Medical Capabilities

The Air Force continues to see “incredible inroads” in making its medical teams lighter, more mobile, and more capable, said Lt. Gen. Charles Green, USAF surgeon general. A case in point is the Expeditionary Medical System, he told House lawmakers earlier this month. EMEDS is a modular, scalable, rapid-response medical package for use in wartime or humanitarian assistance. Based on lessons learned from disaster-relief operations in Indonesia, Haiti, and Chile over the past several years, the Air Force has added EMEDS obstetrics, pediatrics, and geriatrics modules, said Green. “We simply insert any of these modules without necessarily changing the weight or [volume] for planning purposes,” he said. Air Combat Command medics are also developing an EMEDS team capable of seeing the first patient within one hour of arrival and performing the first surgery within three-to-five hours, said Green. Functional tests are planned this year. (Green prepared remarks)