HomeNewsArticle Display

Optometry leads KC-46 laser program

22 ARW, 22 AMDS, McConnell AFB, Optometrist

Maj. Gerardo Robles-Morales, a physician, 22nd Aerospace Medical Squadron optometry flight commander, looks through a binocular indirect ophthalmoscope, Jan. 31, 2018, at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. Robles-Morales explained that all local military dependents are able to be seen by the base optometrist. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alan Ricker)

22 ARW, 22 AMDS, McConnell AFB, Optometrist

Staff Sgt. Aaron Prevost, 22nd Aerospace Medical Squadron optometry flight chief, relaxes in a chair while Maj. Gerardo Robles-Morales, a physician, 22nd AMDS optometry flight commander, uses a binocular indirect ophthalmoscope during an examination, Jan. 31, 2018, at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. Robles-Morales used a small lens with the binocular indirect ophthalmoscope in order to enhance light and magnify his vision to see the retina through dilation of the pupil. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alan Ricker)

22 ARW, 22 AMDS, McConnell AFB, Optometrist

Maj. Gerardo Robles-Morales, a physician, 22nd Aerospace Medical Squadron optometry flight commander, uses a binocular indirect ophthalmoscope during an examination with Staff Sgt. Aaron Prevost, 22nd AMDS optometry flight chief, Jan. 31, 2018, at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. Robles-Morales used the binocular indirect ophthalmoscope to check Prevost’s retina through dilation of the pupil. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alan Ricker)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. (AFNS) --

With recent advances in technology and the addition of a laser system in the KC-46A Pegasus, there are precautions that the Air Force must take in order to keep Airmen safe.

“When it comes to ocular safety, we perform a laser eye exam,” said Staff Sgt. Aaron Prevost, 22nd Aerospace Medical Squadron optometry flight chief. “We’re checking and getting a baseline for their vision.”

These exams are performed on individuals, laser workers, who work with or in the same environment as the Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures system, or LAIRCM, which provides a defense system to protect large transport or rotary-wing aircraft. It also includes an infrared laser jammer countermeasure system to protect the aircraft from infrared guided threat missiles. Members working with or around the LAIRCM undergo an exam before encountering the equipment.

According to the DoD 6.055.05-Occupational Medical Examinations and Surveillance Manual, laser workers are considered to be at a high risk of accidental exposure due to their continuous involvement with a laser system. Workers are required to complete multiple visual tests before qualifications are given.

“What we would like to see during the exam is someone who is seeing 20/20 far and near, their intraocular pressures are normal and they’re not having any color deficiencies in either eye,” Prevost said. “We also want to make sure that the retina is responding normally and that there are no missing pieces or vision distortion.”

By being proactive and having already obtained readings from an initial exam, if an incident were to occur the optometry clinic would be able to pull information and repeat the process to help pinpoint what damage was made to the laser worker’s eye.

“The exam lets us capture what the real risk of lasers are as they impact the back of an eyeball,” said Lt. Col. Richard Speakman, 22nd AMDS commander

The previous documentation can help the clinic conclude what is wrong with the patient and can inform the doctor on what actions need to be taken to provide treatment.

“They’ll continue to get the treatment and the proper echelon of care until we figure out a solution,” Prevost said.

The initial exam is not just used to receive a baseline, but it’s also used to determine whether or not an individual is capable of working in a laser environment or if it would endanger them of completely losing sight.

“Let’s say that the best they could see during the initial test was 20/100 and they could only see monocularly for example,” Prevost said. “If something happened to the one good eye that they had, that’s it.”

With the addition of the KC-46 and various integrations that come along with it, additional safety measures are being taken to ensure not only that the mission continues, but also that the Airmen are cared for.

“Whatever happens, they can always say ‘This is how I’m feeling and what I’ve noticed. Can I get this checked out?’ ‘Yeah! Let’s do an evaluation and make sure that you are taken care of,’” Prevost said. “That way it helps identify safety hazards and it keeps the patient feeling good in terms of ‘Oh, okay! I’m being looked out for.’ and that’s important.”

Engage

Twitter
RT @AFGlobalStrike: Being a flying crew chief on a #B52H is no easy feat. While deployed in forward operating locations, chiefs use their t…
Twitter
#Airmen and @USArmy Soldiers are participating in the virtual 2021 Joint Forces Contracting Exercise. The goal is t… https://t.co/qscGsekWC4
Twitter
Good luck Capt. Westmoreland! #USOpen https://t.co/dE4sq6bnRQ
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: This week, 1000+ personnel from across the nation traveled to Wisconsin to participate in PATRIOT 21. Exercise PATRIOT jo…
Twitter
Check out this week of #airpower on display! Share your favorite and tell us why! Check out the rest of the Week i… https://t.co/CmpDDTMZ21
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: “Today we celebrate freedom while reflecting on lessons from our Nation’s past & the actions still required. I am honore…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Today, we celebrate a defining moment in our country’s history: the emancipation of enslaved African Americans & a new fe…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: As I reflect on this past year, I see that our #Airmen have been given an opportunity to have hard conversations & grow d…
Twitter
Happy Juneteenth! Today we celebrate the final abolition of slavery and freedom for all Americans! https://t.co/TaqPhVegCB
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: The 56th Fighter Wing and 56th Maintenance Group @LukeAFB are accelerating change through the Lightning Technician Program.…
Twitter
Quick reminder for some OCP uniform mandatory items: ✅ Spice Brown U.S. flag patch ✅ DLA-issued green or Coyote B… https://t.co/CuOy5CS5hs
Twitter
RT @AFGlobalStrike: Keeping the #B52H flying takes a lot of work. Thankfully, our #Striker #maintainers are up to the challenge of keeping…
Twitter
The Hungarian #AirForce co-hosted European Partnership Flight 2021 with @HQUSAFEAFAF. Air Forces from across the E… https://t.co/lvI7RiGU8w
Twitter
#Airmen from the @grandslamwing converted commercial grade aircraft fuel into ready-to-use fuel for mil aircraft at… https://t.co/8OY4vBw7x9
Twitter
.@AirNatlGuard #Airmen from Hawaii and California completed a week-long series of search-and-rescue training, suppo… https://t.co/U03H6FjFF5
Twitter
@SecAFOfficial, @GenCQBrownJr and @SpaceForceCSO laid out both the near term and longer range budget and operationa… https://t.co/Diwsg6RWqN
Twitter
Under Secretary of the Air Force nominee Gina Ortiz Jones testified before the #SASC June 16. If confirmed, she wil… https://t.co/YrQh8XtlJt
Twitter
The Final Environmental Assessment for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent Test Program is now available. The GBSD… https://t.co/x8ZifTsHaA
Twitter
.@AETCommand’s “myLearning” system enters phase two, launching new features for #Airmen and #Guardians this summer… https://t.co/2Pcbnv68du
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Acting Secretary of the Air Force John Roth’s comments today while addressing the Senate Armed Services Committee. @USAi
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,347,261
Follow Us