8th Medical Group hosts re-designation ceremony

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Kristin High
  • 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The 8th Medical Group re-designated two squadrons on Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Sept. 30, 2020.

During the ceremony, presiding officer, Col. Marilyn “Hawk” Thomas, 8th MDG commander, retired the old guidons as Lt. Col. Andrea “Mash” Moore, former 8th Medical Support Squadron commander, and Lt. Col. Claudia “Bones” Eid, former 8th Medical Operations Squadron commander, unveiled the new guidons.

The 8th MDOS, activated Sept. 30, 1994, changed to the 8th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron, or 8th OMRS. The 8th MDSS, activated Aug. 1, 1994, changed to the 8th Healthcare Operations Squadron, or 8th HCOS.

 “In summer 2017, Air Combat Command commissioned an initiative to improve combat readiness and lethality, revitalizing squadrons at the 366th Fighter Wing, Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho,” Thomas said. “The 366th Medical Squadron, as part of this pilot, reorganized from three squadrons into two squadrons.”

Through the process of change, the concept at Mountain Home AFB became the model across the board.

This became an Air Force-wide initiative in February 2019, when the Secretary of the Air Force directed the Air Force Surgeon General to realign medical efforts to focus on readiness.

“These changes are building an integrated healthcare system, restoring readiness and building the Air Force we need,” said Air Force Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Dorothy Hogg.

The HCOS will provide medical care, immunizations and ambulance services. The OMRS will focus on active duty medical readiness. Prior to this separation, both squadrons handled the conglomerate.

Although there are no major changes to healthcare, there is one difference at Kunsan AB.

“Unlike HCOs across the Air Force, we will not be providing care to any [dependents] and retirees, as we do not have any impaneled here in the Wolf Pack,” said Moore, commander of the newly-designated 8th HCOS. “You can expect that the Med Hawks continue to provide trusted, highly-reliable care to make sure we’re taking care of the Wolf Pack.”