Tip of the Medical Spear

Medics of the 1st Special Operations Support Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Fla., have performed dozens of surgeries, evacuated scores of citizens, and delivered tons of vital supplies since their arrival in Haiti on Jan. 13 as part of the ongoing international relief mission. “The teams are performing marvelously,” said Lt. Col. Jeremy Kokenes, the 1st SOSS operations director. Up until a few days ago, these airmen were the only military surgical capability in Haiti and sole surgical presence at the US embassy in Port au Prince, he said. They have been flying on helicopters to wherever they are needed. Some of these medics have escorted Haitian patients to the US for further medical treatment. While not tending to casualties, they have also assisted in non-medical tasks such as off-loading C-130 transports and organizing search and rescue teams. (Hurlburt report by A1C Joe McFadden)