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307th Bomb Wing honors New York City deployers

Photo of Airman with mask looking to his left

U.S. Air Force Capt. Aaron Bigio, 307th Medical Squadron Nurse, listens to a speaker during a 307th MDS Deployer Appreciation Day ceremony at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, Jan. 10, 2021. Bigio was one of nine 307th MDS personnel honored during the ceremony. The Reserve Citizen Airmen deployed last year to New York City during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic there. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Ted Daigle)

Photo of a B-52 surrounded by Airmen

Members of the 307th Medical Squadron and their families take part in a static tour of a B-52 Stratofortress at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, Jan. 10, 2021. The tour was given after a ceremony honoring the achievements of nine 307th MDS personnel who deployed to New York City last year to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic there. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Ted Daigle)

Photo of Airman speaking with civilian doctor

Dr. Tess VanHoy, 307th Medical Squadron honorary commander, speaks with 307th MDS commander Col. Dennis Britten at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, Jan. 10, 2021. The two attended a ceremony there honoring 307th MDS personnel who deployed to New York City last year during the apex of the COVID-19 pandemic there. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Ted Daigle)

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. --

The 307th Medical Squadron awarded the Armed Forces Service Medal to nine of its Reserve Citizen Airmen during an award ceremony here Sunday to recognize their efforts during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Airmen deployed to the New York City area last year when the pandemic was at its worst there. Arriving only 72 hours after being called, they provided relief to strained civilian medical staff throughout the area.

Col. Steven Kirkpatrick, 307th Bomb Wing commander, spoke directly to the group during his remarks at the event.

“You went directly into the epicenter of the pandemic, did a fantastic job, and made all of us in the 307th Bomb Wing proud,” he told the deployers.

The Airmen worked in hospitals throughout the city, employing a variety of life-saving medical services for multiple patients, including proning. The technique involves turning a patient with precise motions from their back to their abdomen to help relieve acute respiratory distress.

Col. Dennis Britten, 307th MDS commander also addressed the assembly. He highlighted the importance and gravity of the care administered by the Airmen.

“Whenever medical personnel hear about proning patients, they understand the critical nature of the situation for people on ventilators,” he explained.

 After the ceremony, Airmen and their families were invited to view a B-52 Stratofortress static display.