Contingency aeromedical staging facility Airmen get wounded warriors home

  • Published
  • By Airman Amber R. Kelly-Herard
  • 375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
The transition from the Craig Joint Theater Hospital to home is made easier for wounded warriors with the help of Airmen at the contingency aeromedical staging facility here.

Once a patient is in stable condition after receiving care at the joint-theater hospital, they are brought to the CASF, where they remain under medical attention while waiting for aeromedical evacuation.

Since aeromedical evacuation missions leave here several times each week, most patients depart the CASF within 72 hours or their arrival.

"I enjoy getting to talk with the patients, hearing their stories," said Senior Airman Carl Engelke, a CASF medical technician. "It's hard because you connect with them and then they leave, but it's for the best."

Working in the CASF also allows Airman Engelke to work closely with the AE system, something he'd never done at his home station.

"I feel like I'm also learning a new job, working with the aeromedical-evacuation crews," Airman Engelke said. "It's especially great to see the critical-care teams," who are responsible for taking care of the most severely injured patients.

Due to the joint environment here, Airman Engelke has the opportunity to work with members of the other services and foreign armed forces as well.

"I've learned a lot by working with different military branches," he said.

When the CASF is not working with patients, they help with local Afghan citizens, he said. Twice a week, the CASF team drives a bus to a nearby Egyptian Field Hospital to offer free healthcare.

"If I could be anywhere in the mission, I would be here, because I couldn't contribute more than what I do here," he said.