18th MDG gets new commander

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Reynaldo Ramon
  • 18 WING Public Affairs
A new commander took the reins of the largest outpatient clinic in Pacific Air Forces in a ceremony here June 22.

Col. Frederick L. Schaefer took command of the 18th Medical group from Col. Kelley Kash, who retired the same day after 23 years of service.

"It's truly an honor to be taking command of the 18th Medical Group," said Colonel Schaefer. "It's a great foundation to continue the outstanding reputation of these combat medics throughout the wing."

He will now oversee 498 personnel assigned in 29 different Air Force Specialty Codes who provide support to more than 18,000 enrolled members and more than 55,000 beneficiaries.

"I was impressed with not only the facility but also, more importantly, I was impressed with the knowledge level, positive attitude and pride the members of the medical group projected when we walked through," said Colonel Schaefer.

Colonel Schaefer, who comes to Kadena from the 3rd Dental Squadron at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, holds a doctorate in Dental Surgery from Marquette University in Wisconsin and entered the Air Force through a direct commission in 1982. His diverse career includes three squadron commands, a residency in advanced clinical dentistry, and acting as an assistant base dental surgeon and a general dental officer. He has deployed in support of operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

The 18th MDG received recently an "Excellent" rating on its Health Service Inspection rating and full three-year accreditation through the Accreditation Association of Ambulatory Health Care.

"Colonel Kash, your leadership and the accomplishments of this group have set a standard I hope to follow," said Colonel Schaefer. "Thank you for building the 18th MDG into a premier Air Force organization."