Being medically ready to deploy

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Joseph Stroud
  • 509th Medical Operations Squadron

Ready, Set, Deploy! As part of the Air Expeditionary Force, Airmen must start thinking about what is needed to be medically ready to deploy. Being prepared and completing requirements early can save a lot of time and ensure smoother out-processing.

Medical deployment clearances are conducted by the Public Health office no more than 60 days prior to their repot-no-later date. If the deploying Airman will attend training prior to their report date, they may start 60 days prior to their training date. There are many factors that determine if an individual is qualified to deploy; medical issues, immunizations and outdated exams can hold up the process.

If the member being deployed has unresolved medical conditions, they must see their medical provider as soon as possible. The individual's PHA and dental exam must remain current throughout the duration of the deployment. If a PHA is needed, contact the appointment line at (660) 563-9100 or 687-2188 to schedule. Active-duty members are required to have an HIV test within 120 days of their report date. The biggest hold-up for deployers is immunizations. Immunizations may be administered starting at 120 days prior to the report date. It is critical to start immunizations as soon as possible.

Anthrax vaccinations are mandatory for those deploying to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility and require two doses to be considered eligible for arrival in theater. Another required immunization is the small-pox vaccine, which is administered on Wednesdays from 7:30-9 a.m. Patients must complete required paperwork, which must be evaluated and signed by a flight medicine physician before receiving the vaccine. Please allow a minimum of three days to complete this process. If deploying to an area with high malaria risk (Afghanistan,) medication will be prescribed and will require an appointment with their provider.

A new requirement for all members deploying to an area of responsibility is to receive a baseline Nuerocognative Assessment Test. This test will be conducted with Mental Health. contact Mental Health at (660) 687-4341 to make arrangements to take the test.

Additional requirements include ensuring the deployer has medications and corrective lens prescriptions. If deploying Airman are taking medications he or she must ensure they have a supply long enough for the duration of the deployment.

If members wear eye glasses, he or she must have at least two pairs of glasses and gas mask inserts. Deployers may visit the Optometry clinic to obtain corrective lenses. Contact lenses are not authorized for non-aircrew members in deployed locations unless authorized by the gaining unit commander.

Once the member meets these requirements, Public Health conducts a record review and prepares the deployed medical record for the member to hand carry to the deployed location. Public Health will then conduct a country specific medical intelligence brief, after which the member is considered medically qualified to deploy.
For more information, call Public Health at (660) 687-6942.