PATRICK SPACE FORCE BASE, Fla. – With a record number of launches on the manifest for the 2021, the task of securing the World’s Premier Gateway to Space relies on the health and readiness of the men and women of the 45th Space Wing – and securing the health and readiness of Wing personnel is the charge of the 45th Medical Group (MDG).
Air Force Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Dorothy Hogg and CMSgt Dawn Kolczynski, Chief, Medical Enlisted Force visited Patrick Space Force Base, Fla. on Feb. 23 to meet with members of the 45th MDG. The pair toured the medical treatment facility and took time to show appreciation for the medical group’s collective efforts.
“I am here today to get a better understanding of the critical role the 45th Medical Group has in our nation’s U.S. Space Force operations,” said Hogg. “I hope to gain an understanding of the challenges our medics face and to learn what I can do to better support them in their jobs for this new and unique mission. While I’m here I will be listening intently to the Airmen I meet, and taking in their feedback so we can build medical capabilities that support the challenges and requirements presented by the U.S. Space Force mission.”
With Patrick SFB and nearby Cape Canaveral Space Force Station recently designated the nation’s first Space Force installations, Hogg highlighted the unique position of the 45 MDG.
“With the U.S. Space Force being the newest branch of the military, the 45th Medical Group has the historic opportunity of being one of the first medical teams charged with maintaining readiness for both the Guardians who operate and protect U.S. space capabilities and the Airmen assigned to Space Force units,” she stated. “Their knowledge, experience and expertise will be crucial to guiding us as we continue to build capabilities that support medical care for Guardians and their unique mission.”
In addition to routine health care, the 45th MDG has been at the forefront of the COVID-19 vaccination efforts on base. The initial round of personnel received vaccines in January, in accordance with the Department of Defense’s tiered approach, starting with first responders and healthcare personnel.
“I am exceptionally proud of our Air Force medics, both in the air and on the ground, who are fighting on the frontlines of this pandemic,” commented Hogg. “Throughout the past year our medical professionals have been remarkable at protecting our troops, their families and our communities, all while safeguarding our national security missions and supporting the whole-of-government approach to addressing this national health emergency. As we continue to fight the spread of COVID-19, the DoD-wide vaccination program is a critical addition to our arsenal. I know the members of the 45th Medical Group are working tirelessly, as are all medics, to ensure everyone who wants a vaccination can get one so we can return to normal operations as quickly as possible.”
During the leaders’ base visit, they also hosted an all-call with the 45th MDG and coined several top-performing medical group members.
“One of the greatest privileges I have as the Surgeon General is to get out into the field and visit medical treatment facilities around the Air Force,” said Hogg. “What makes these visits so special is getting to see the Airmen in action and hearing the pride they have in their work. Recognizing Airmen who go above their duties and think without a box is my way of encouraging our most outstanding members to push forward and continue to shape our Air Force Medical Service future. They are the ones who will go on to do great things.”
With her parting comments, Hogg encouraged the group and commended the collaborative work the wing is doing to remain the World’s Premier Gateway to Space.
“My message to all Airmen is to be confident in your abilities, know your job, take care of the mission and you will achieve goals beyond your wildest imagination.”