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A Great Assignment: Airlift Wing Gets Chance to Shine with New Medical Response Team

Oct. 2--If your mother said it once, she must have said it 100 times: Don't just sit there. Make yourself useful.

OK, maybe, it was your father who delivered this timeless sermon. But it's good advice that should last a life time. Being useful can only help the cause.

The Missouri Air National Guard's 139th Airlift Wing certainly gets the message. The Airlift Wing officially picks up a new assignment that will expand its current mission to include an emergency medical response team next month.

"The need for such a group was born from the practical experiences of 9/11 and enhanced by the Guard's response to Katrina," Maj. Barbara Denny, a spokeswoman for the Airlift Wing, told our reporter.

The state guard will assign an officer and an airman to St. Joseph as administrators for a medical team of about 45 doctors, nurses and medical services personnel. The team will become the vanguard of the Missouri National Guard's enhanced disaster response package.

About 20 traditional Guard officers and airmen will drill in St. Joseph and another group of about 25 will drill in St. Louis. The new unit will be prepared to set up a mobile emergency room within six hours of receiving orders from Jefferson City. The unit will be able to operate for three days at a disaster as an independent unit.

The new mission is an ideal fit for the Airlift Wing that is already trained to respond to all kinds of emergencies. Plus, being useful looks good when it comes around to budget time.

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