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59th MDW showcases medical mission to AETC's new boss

Gen. Robin Rand, Air Education and Training Command commander, hosts a lunch with junior enlisted Airmen assigned to the 59th Medical Wing, Feb. 24, 2014, at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio- Lackland, Texas. Rand and Chief Master Sgt. Gerardo Tapia, AETC command chief, toured the 59th MDW to learn more about its military medical mission. This was Rand’s first visit to the wing since taking command of AETC in October 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

Gen. Robin Rand, Air Education and Training Command commander, hosts a lunch with junior enlisted Airmen assigned to the 59th Medical Wing, Feb. 24, 2014, at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio- Lackland, Texas. Rand and Chief Master Sgt. Gerardo Tapia, AETC command chief, toured the 59th MDW to learn more about its military medical mission. This was Rand’s first visit to the wing since taking command of AETC in October 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

Gen. Robin Rand, Air Education and Training Command commander, learns about refractive eye surgery procedures during an immersion tour with the 59th Medical Wing, Feb. 24, 2014, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. The 59th MDW Refractive Surgery Center is one of seven centers in the Air Force, and offers services to military members throughout the Department of Defense. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

Gen. Robin Rand, Air Education and Training Command commander, learns about refractive eye surgery procedures during an immersion tour with the 59th Medical Wing, Feb. 24, 2014, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. The 59th MDW Refractive Surgery Center is one of seven centers in the Air Force, and offers services to military members throughout the Department of Defense. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

Maj. Patrick Ryan, Air Force Medical Support Agency Health Facilities Division, briefs Gen. Robin Rand, Air Education and Training Command commander, on several upcoming medical military construction projects during a visit to the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Feb. 24, 2014. Future projects include the new WHASC, the San Antonio Military Medical Center Hyperbaric Medicine Addition, and the Reid Clinic replacement. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Staff Sgt. Jason Huddleston)

Maj. Patrick Ryan, Air Force Medical Support Agency Health Facilities Division, briefs Gen. Robin Rand, Air Education and Training Command commander, on several upcoming medical military construction projects during a visit to the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Feb. 24, 2014. Future projects include the new WHASC, the San Antonio Military Medical Center Hyperbaric Medicine Addition, and the Reid Clinic replacement. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Staff Sgt. Jason Huddleston)

Gen. Robin Rand, Air Education and Training Command commander, overlooks the new Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center construction site during his immersion visit to the 59th Medical Wing Feb. 24, 2014 at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. The new WHASC will be the Defense Department’s largest outpatient facility, as part of San Antonio Military Health System – which cares for nearly a quarter million beneficiaries in the greater San Antonio region. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Staff Sgt. Jason Huddleston)

Gen. Robin Rand, Air Education and Training Command commander, overlooks the new Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center construction site during his immersion visit to the 59th Medical Wing Feb. 24, 2014 at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. The new WHASC will be the Defense Department’s largest outpatient facility, as part of San Antonio Military Health System – which cares for nearly a quarter million beneficiaries in the greater San Antonio region. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Staff Sgt. Jason Huddleston)

Noncommissioned officers assigned to the 59th Medical Wing attend a commander’s call hosted by Gen. Robin Rand, Air Education and Training Command commander, Feb. 24, 2014, at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center Auditorium, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. Rand spoke about the importance of the medical mission and of leading and educating Airmen. This was the general’s first visit to the 59th MDW since taking command of AETC in October 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

Noncommissioned officers assigned to the 59th Medical Wing attend a commander’s call hosted by Gen. Robin Rand, Air Education and Training Command commander, Feb. 24, 2014, at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center Auditorium, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. Rand spoke about the importance of the medical mission and of leading and educating Airmen. This was the general’s first visit to the 59th MDW since taking command of AETC in October 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

Gen. Robin Rand, Air Education and Training Command commander, speaks to 59th Medical Wing noncommissioned officers during a commander’s call at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center Auditorium, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Feb. 24, 2014. Rand spoke about the importance of the medical mission and of leading and educating Airmen. This was the general’s first visit to the 59 MDW since taking command of AETC in October 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Staff Sgt. Jason Huddleston)

Gen. Robin Rand, Air Education and Training Command commander, speaks to 59th Medical Wing noncommissioned officers during a commander’s call at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center Auditorium, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Feb. 24, 2014. Rand spoke about the importance of the medical mission and of leading and educating Airmen. This was the general’s first visit to the 59 MDW since taking command of AETC in October 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Staff Sgt. Jason Huddleston)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- Air Education and Training Command's top leader recently visited the 59th Medical Wing to meet with Airmen and senior leaders, and learn more about the scope of its medical mission.

Gen. Robin Rand, AETC commander, viewed several areas throughout the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center Feb. 24, including the wing's Refractive Surgery Center, Aeromedical Staging Facility and Clinical Research Division. Rand also visited nearby Reid Clinic, whose medical staff cares for more than 86,000 trainees, technical training students, Defense Language Institute and Inter-American Forces Academy students annually.

Rand also hosted commander's calls throughout the day, and had lunch with junior 59th MDW Airmen. His primary message was simple - get to know the Airmen around you, let them know you care about them, and teach each other how to be great Wingmen.

Charged for ensuring the education and training of all Airmen, the general also spoke about the importance of the medical mission in relation to the rest of the Air Force.

"I have a special affinity for medics. I've served with you in combat and know how important military medicine is in combat," said Rand. "I've seen it and lived it first hand and just want to tell you how much I appreciate what you've done for our Air Force and our country."

Of particular significance was the status of several military construction (MILCON) projects at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, to include the new Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, the San Antonio Military Medical Center's Hyperbaric Medicine addition and the Reid Clinic replacement.

Maj. Patrick Ryan, of the Air Force Medical Support Agency Health Facilities Division, said it was important to familiarize Rand with the plethora of MILCON projects underway in San Antonio.

"We appreciate the opportunity to showcase the new WHASC to General and Mrs. Rand," Ryan said. "There is a great deal of work underway in JBSA to modernize health care facilities in order to support high quality patient care."