Medical Readiness: Every Airman’s Responsibility

  • Published
  • By Col. Charles Carlton
  • 22nd Medical Group commander
The number one priority of the Department of Defense is maintaining the readiness and sustainability of our forces. The U.S. must have capable forces prepared to respond quickly to the diverse demands of a post-Cold War world.

Managing this goal is one of the 22nd Medical Group's and the 22nd Air Refueling Wing's most aggressive undertakings, and should be every Airman's as well. Col. Ricky Rupp, 22nd ARW Commander, has set the 22nd ARW's Individual Medial Readiness goal to 85 percent; 5 percent higher than the Air Force goal.

IMR is a key component in preparing for deployments, requiring every Airman to be accountable in keeping their physical and mental status current. IMR consists of the following: updated/current physical health assessment; laboratory tests, immunizations, dental exams, profiles and medical equipment such as gas mask inserts.

Each individual is responsible for ensuring their medical requirements are current before they become overdue. In doing so, every Airman assigned to the 22 ARW will be mission ready to face the new challenges levied on our Airmen as the world continues to change.

The Air Force recently created a tool that allows Airmen to access his/her medical readiness requirements, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This link will give Airman direct access to a pre-deployment health assessment, the new deployment resiliency assessment and the post-deployment health reassessment forms.

In addition, commanders, unit deployment managers and unit health managers can use this portal link to navigate to a unit level IMR status report to obtain pertinent medical readiness information about their personnel. To access your individual medical readiness information, follow the steps below:

1. Log onto Air Force Portal
2. Under "Featured Links," select "Fitness and Health"
3. Then select "Medical Readiness" - Deployment Health
4. Next, the screen will display the ASIMS web DOD notice and consent page. Read and click OK.
5. The top box is for the individual member. "My Individual Medical Readiness Status" is the first link.

Over the past 10 years, our Air Force has become accustomed to a deployment cycle that ensures units and individuals focus on their readiness. As our units start to see more and more dwell time between deployments there's potential for units and individuals to unintentionally take their eye off of readiness. To make it a priority, leaders and Airmen need to keep their eye on the ball when it comes to wing, group, squadron and individual readiness.

Commanders at every level are responsible for and must emphasize the importance of improving and maintaining Airmen and squadron readiness. NCOs must enforce the standard by ensuring a constant state of individual readiness. You simply can't afford to wait for orders to start the process.

The overall readiness of your squadron/group is directly linked to each Airman's individual readiness. As a professional, you shouldn't need to be told to make sure your shots, physical, dental exam and required individual training needs to be updated. Every Airman should be leaning forward and taking the responsibility for their readiness before it becomes an issue.

Without a doubt, readiness needs constant attention and leadership involvement. Squadrons that place a strong emphasis on individual and organizational readiness are in a better position to respond to whatever the nation calls them to do. The 22nd MDG stands ready to assist and ensure Team McConnell (Airpower) is mission ready. Are you medically ready?