Team Whiteman flight surgeon keeps 20th Attack Squadron mission ready through COVID-19

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Dylan Nuckolls
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

The 20th Attack Squadron’s mission is to execute persistent attack and reconnaissance combat missions with the MQ-9 Reaper, Remotely Piloted Aircraft. Thanks to one Airman, that mission can continue despite the recent pandemic.

With the onset of COVID-19, the squadron relies heavily on Capt. (Dr.) Sadie, 20th ATKS squadron medical element flight surgeon, to ensure the health and safety of personnel to keep their around-the-clock mission going.

“Keeping our combat lines running is mission number one,” said Sadie. “Anything I can do to help that mission happen and keep our people in the fight is priority.”

That priority was put front in center early on in the fight against COVID-19.

“Sadie has been absolutely instrumental in ensuring the 20th ATKS maintains our combat capability,” said Lt. Col. Daniel, 20th ATKS commander. “She is an integral member of the senior leadership team and has developed the procedures and authored the policies which have helped keep our Hellhounds healthy and safe.”

Sadie, working with squadron leadership, implemented daily health screenings at the door, lessening the risk of possible exposure to members, and set up portable hand-washing stations, allowing members to sanitize before entering the building.

“Sadie helped develop our 14 days-on, 14 days-off schedule to balance the virus incubation period against aircrew availability,” said Daniel. “This two-team 24/7 schedule isolated teams as much as possible and dramatically reduced the risk of cross contamination between our crews.”

Sadie also built a personnel tracker called the ‘Health Hound.’ The tracker identifies which squadron members are in quarantine or isolation and helps determine high risk members.

While Sadie used her experience to implement processes to keep members of the 20th ATKS safe, she also dedicated much of her time gathering information for her teammates to ease their concerns.

“Sadie has attended all of our squadron meetings, town halls, and virtual briefings to ensure our members have accurate and up-to-date information regarding COVID-19,” said Daniel.

According to Sadie, the work relationship between her and unit leadership was key in the response the unit made to COVID-19.

“I’m really lucky that my commander is extremely receptive to my input and taking the guidance that I was giving him throughout the whole process,” said Sadie.

According to Daniel, Sadie’s efforts were instrumental in keeping the Hellhounds mission ready. Her work lowered the level of personnel who are unable to perform their duties.

“Sadie is one of the hardest working individuals I’ve ever seen,” said Daniel. “She is completely devoted to the health and well-being of the 509th Bomb Wing and the 20th ATKS. She is a one-of-a-kind doctor who truly knows her patients on a personal level and has made a huge impact on the unit.  She regularly assists members after hours and is a huge reason for the increase in the squadron’s overall health and wellness.”

Thanks to Sadie’s expertise, leadership and guidance throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the 20th ATKS continues to execute persistent attack and reconnaissance combat missions 24/7, 365 days a year in order to protect U.S. and coalition forces.

Author/Admin Note: The last names of these Airmen have been withheld in accordance with 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing policy, of which these Airmen belong to, but are Geographically Separated from.