MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. --
The 22nd Operational Medical Readiness Squadron won the Air Force Aerospace Team of the Year award for 2021 at the Society of U.S.Air Force Flight Surgeons luncheon during the 92nd Annual Scientific Meeting of the Aerospace Medical Association May 23, 2022, in Reno, Nevada.
The Air Force level award, the highest award that one can receive, recognizes an active-duty or Reserve team for their contributions to the mission and vision of team aerospace over the prior calendar year. The 22nd OMRS was selected to be the Air Mobility Command nominee to go up against nine other major command competitors.
The award was presented to Col. Christopher Bates, 22nd OMRS commander at the time, by Brig. Gen. John Andrus, Society of United States Air Force Flight Surgeons board member, at the Society of United States Air Force Flight Surgeons luncheon.
“Our team had been doing excellent work despite the challenging conditions of Covid and the 22nd Air Refueling Wing’s high ops tempo with many deployments [and] TDYs and through all of this our team’s diligence and work ethic had resulted in many important Air Force medical metrics ranked number 1 in the Air Force or number 1 in AMC,” said Bates. “Lt. Col. Davis and I both knew the team (was) awesome and hoped the Air Force would see that.”
In 2021, the 22nd OMRS team was able to distribute 88,000 Covid vaccines during an eight-week time period and established half of the Department of Defense’s Covid test gateways. The team also supported 20 deployments where they provided $630,000 worth of health services to 100,000 Afghan refugees. In support of Operation Allies Refuge, they delivered care to 900 Afghan refugees over 20 days and supported evacuees in 135 sorties performed by U.S. Central Command. All while strengthening their dental, vision and overall care for Airmen.
“I was very proud to see our team recognized for all their hard work and dedication to the mission of Team Aerospace,” said Bates. “We tell the team they are doing great work, but it’s nice for them to hear it from outside observers also.”
The 22nd OMRS team is comprised of 86 military personnel and 35 civilians who work in dental, optometry, bioenvironmental engineering, mental health, public health, human performance and flight medicine.
“Their excellence and expertise stands as a shining example of our Air Force Core Values of Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in All We Do,” said Brig. Gen. Norman West, Air Mobility Command Surgeon General, in a letter he wrote to the team after they were chosen as the AMC nominee. “Receiving this award demonstrates a great deal of dedication, skill and effort towards the overall success of the AMC mission.”