Back to Top Skip to main content

Growing Air Force’s space medicine culture

Medical Airmen assigned to U.S. Air Force Space Command are charged with delivering care to the Airmen who launch, monitor and operate the Air Force’s satellite systems. As space continues to play an increasingly critical role in our nation’s defense, medical Airmen in AFSPC are also preparing for the future of space medicine. (U.S. Air Force photo) Medical Airmen assigned to U.S. Air Force Space Command are charged with delivering care to the Airmen who launch, monitor and operate the Air Force’s satellite systems. As space continues to play an increasingly critical role in our nation’s defense, medical Airmen in AFSPC are also preparing for the future of space medicine. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — As space continues to play an increasingly critical role in our nation’s defense, the need for the space medicine specialty grows. Medical Airmen within U.S. Air Force Space Command are making sure space operators are ready for future readiness requirements.

“Space is no longer a neutral, docile domain,” said Air Force Col. Walter Matthews, AFSPC Command Surgeon. “It has become a contested environment where many state and non-state actors actively seek to disrupt U.S. space capability.”

It is the role of AFSPC medics to ensure space operators are medically ready to complete their mission, and to optimize their performance, while also preparing for the future of space medicine.

Space operators have unique readiness requirements because they are employed in place, meaning they must maintain readiness and high vigilance every day.

Currently in the Air Force, “space medicine is the field of medicine that cares for the space operators who launch, monitor and operate our satellite systems,” said Air Force Col. Brian Agee, Chief of Aerospace Medicine for AFSPC. “It also includes launch and recovery support for astronauts.”

To prepare for future readiness needs, AFSPC medics are developing the requirements and training for future space surgeons, building on current training requirements.

Specifically, AFSPC medical Airmen are focusing on four areas of interest: managing fatigue exposure; defining fitness to meet the needs of line commanders; working within the specification of deployment and readiness; and evaluating retention standards for certain conditions.

“We are also pursuing space operations basic training for all medical personnel who support the space mission,” said Matthews. “It is important that all medical personnel, including nurses, techs and administrators who support the space medicine mission have a common baseline understanding of what makes the space domain different.”

During the early years of the U.S. space program, Air Force doctors led the way in the space medicine field, but NASA later assumed most medical responsibilities for its astronauts. Today, understanding of the space environment’s effect on the human body is growing at a fast pace. As space becomes an ever more important domain, AFSPC medical Airmen continue to keep up with that growth in knowledge.

Space medicine builds off aerospace medicine and ties closely to occupational and preventive medicine, accounting for the impact that the space environment has on the body. This includes oxygen, pressure, acceleration, radiation, communication issues, logistics, and isolation. Space medicine has to account for all of this.

“Part of what makes space medicine a distinct specialty is the ability to adapt to this pace,” said Agee. “The unpredictability and vastness of space drives us to constantly anticipate, adapt and use existing data to predict future needs.”

“Space is a completely different and separate domain from any other in which the U.S. Air force operates,” said Matthews. “This is the reason for our development of a team of space medicine specialists that exist in a space medicine culture.”

AFSPC medical Airmen like Matthews and Agee are eager to take on the challenges and prepare Airmen for future readiness requirements.

“These are exciting times and I am fortunate to be involved, and grateful for this opportunity to be part of our revolutionary undertakings here at AFSPC,” said Agee.

Disclaimer: Re-published content may have been edited for length and clarity.  Read original post.

You also may be interested in...

Military health care transitions to new life support training provider

Article
2/20/2019
Navy Chief Petty Officer Wendy Wright, a hospital corpsman chief assigned to Expeditionary Medical Facility Great Lakes in Illinois, performs ventilation techniques on a practice mannequin while participating in a life support simulation in Savannah, Georgia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Caila Arahood)

American Red Cross courses better suited to military needs

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Emergency Preparedness and Response

The simple – and complicated – task of shoveling snow

Article
2/5/2019
Army Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Seifridsberger shovels knee-deep snow to build a simulated hasty firing position during training exercise Ready Force Breach at Fort Drum, New York. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Andrew Carroll)

When in the throes of winter weather, there are ways to prepare for a successful, injury-free snow shoveling activity

Recommended Content:

Winter Safety | Reserve Health Readiness Program | Health Readiness | Physical Activity

Army Medicine joins forces with civilian hospitals to sustain medical readiness

Article
1/31/2019
Army Brig. Gen. Telita Crosland, RHC-Atlantic Commanding General, signs letter of commitment Jan. 18 recognizing the partnership between Army Medicine and Cooper University Health Care to provide advanced surgical trauma training allowing Army medical professionals to sustain their trauma skills by working alongside civilian counterparts at high-volume Level 1 trauma centers. Cooper joins the Oregon Health & Science University as one of the two trauma centers partnering with Army Medicine. (Courtesy photo by Cooper University Health Care )

The AMCT3 program addresses the 2017 NDAA directive for the Military Health System to establish partnerships to maintain trauma care competency

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Civil Military Medicine

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Infographic
1/29/2019
HPV

At the time of this report, there were no published studies of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) incidence over time among active component U.S. military personnel. Examining the incidence rates of NAFLD and their temporal trends among active component U.S. military members can provide insights into the future burden of NAFLD on the MHS.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Public Health

Acute Flaccid Myelitis Case Reporting

Infographic
1/29/2019
Acute Flaccid Myelitis Case Reporting

This case highlights important clinical characteristics of acute flaccid myelitis and emphasizes the importance of including AFM in the differential diagnosis when evaluating active duty service members and Military Health System beneficiaries presenting with paralysis.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Public Health

Cardiovascular disease-related medical evacuations

Infographic
1/29/2019
Cardiovascular disease-related medical evacuations

This descriptive analysis summarizes the demographic characteristics, counts, rates and temporal trends for Cardiovascular disease-related medical evacuations from the CENTCOM area of responsibility. In addition, the percentage of those evacuated who had received pre-deployment diagnoses indicating cardiovascular risk is summarized. Responses to ...

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Public Health

Transformation underway across the Military Health System

Article
1/29/2019
Thomas McCaffery, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, with Vice Adm. Raquel Bono, director, Defense Health Agency, celebrated the Defense Health Agency's fifth anniversary on Oct. 1, 2018, by welcoming the first military hospitals and clinics transitioning to the DHA. This was first step for the MHS to emerge as a more integrated and efficient system of health and readiness. (MHS photo by Military Heath System Strategic Communications Division)

All of these changes – the Military Health System transformation, MHS GENESIS, TRICARE enhancements – are aimed at taking the DoD’s health enterprise to the next level

Recommended Content:

Access to Health Care | Health Readiness | TRICARE Health Program | MHS GENESIS | Military Hospitals and Clinics

2019 TRICARE Winter Safety Kit

Infographic
1/22/2019
TRICARE Winter Safety Kit 2019

This infographic provides tips and information about staying safe and warm during a snow storm.

Recommended Content:

Winter Safety | Health Readiness | Preventive Health

A new year marks a new you

Article
1/18/2019
Navy Reserve Sailors assigned to Navy Operational Support Center, Phoenix perform a 1.5-mile run during the physical readiness test at Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, Arizona. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 3rd Class Drew Verbis)

Changes in lifestyle don’t have to be drastic to be effective

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Physical Activity

CJTH continues to provide superior care for U.S., coalition forces

Article
1/7/2019
A medical team transports a patient by a stretcher to Craig Joint Theater Hospital at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Dec. 10, 2018. Before entering the hospital, patients are thoroughly assessed, administratively in-processed and checked for any explosive ordnance or weapons. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kaylee Dubois)

With a 99.3-percent survival rate, the hospital staff have reason to be proud

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Northstar Dustoff provides aeromedical evacuation in Kuwait

Article
1/4/2019
Army Soldiers assigned to the 2-211th General Support Aviation Battalion, Minnesota Army National Guard, and the 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team, Mississippi Army National Guard, pull a patient from a UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter during an aeromedical evacuation rehearsal at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Emily Finn)

Northstar Dustoff has completed more than 60 aeromedical evacuations since August 2018

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

Langley surgical team goes 'purple'

Article
1/3/2019
A joint surgical team comprised of three separate branches assembled to perform an operation at U.S. Air Force Hospital Langley at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. Consisting of a Navy surgeon, Air Force nurse and Army technician, the team performed a Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery to restore a patient’s sinus ventilation to normal function. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Samuel Eckholm)

A joint surgical team was organized to perform a functional endoscopic sinus surgery

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Army hospital earns reputation as a top teaching institution

Article
1/2/2019
Army OB/GYN nurse residents train in the CRDAMC simulation lab. The OB/GYN Nurse Resident Program, only offered at CRDAMC, focuses on OB/GYN nursing skills that include childbearing, high-risk and complicated pregnancy, newborn assessment and care and family planning gynecology. (U.S. Army photo by Gloria Montgomery)

CRDAMC has been recognized by healthcare associations and educational institutions for exceptional achievements

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Military Hospitals and Clinics

MSMR Vol. 26 No. 1 - January 2019

Report
1/1/2019

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2000–2017; Cardiovascular disease-related medical evacuations, active and reserve components, U.S. Armed Forces, 1 October 2001– ...

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

Combat medics improve readiness with individual critical task list training

Article
12/31/2018
A group of combat medics unload a casualty from a MEDEVAC helicopter during a recent emergency medical evacuation training exercise at the hospital’s helipad here as part of the combat medic’s individual critical task list training. (U.S. Army photo by Patricia Deal)

There is no substitution for being pushed around by the rotor wash of a helicopter

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 37

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing: Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.