12 August 2011

On a 'Band Aid' Flight in Afghanistan

"We want [people] to know we are giving the best care possible to the nation's sons and daughters."

- Lt. Col. Sherry Hemby, commander of the 455th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Flight at Bagram

"Band Aid" or "bandage" flights are the regularly scheduled - and emergency - fixed-wing flights which transport patients from various combat hospital locations throughout Afghanistan to the main hospital at Bagram Air Field. From Bagram, the patients then move on to Landstuhl and, ultimately, the U.S.

At Military.com.

"We'll do anything to get [patients] where they need to be," said Maj. David Scheiber, an emergency room nurse who, like others with the 455th, is an Air National Guardsman. Back home in Buffalo, N.Y., he is also a full-time firefighter.

And if it takes the whole team to get just one wounded warrior out of harm's way, the 455th will do it, Scheiber said.

"They'll launch a special plane and activate an entire group of people just for one person if there needs to be. It's a huge undertaking to move an aircraft to a FOB for an individual and bring him back," he said. "You see how much work it takes for us to move a group... and that's the same amount of people they would use for one person."

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