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USAF, USSF Surgeon General visits ‘small but mighty’ 97th AMW

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kayla Christenson
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla-- The ranking U.S. Air Force medical officer and members of his leadership team visited Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma, Aug. 4, 2021.

Lt. Gen. Robert Miller, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force surgeon general, and Chief Master Sgt. Dawn Kolczynski, Medical Enlisted Force and Enlisted Corps chief, toured the 97th Medical Group facility, met Airmen, and viewed a KC-46 Pegasus for the first time while getting a first-hand look at the 97th Air Mobility Wing’s mission. 

We wanted the surgeon general to see how we support the overall mission and how that directly impacts the domino effect that ensures we are mission ready,” said 2nd Lt. Noah Durczynski, 97th MDG group practice manager. “Most of all, the thing that sets us apart, we wanted him to see how our medical group succeeds because of the driven Airmen.”

During the 97 MDG tour, Miller and his team stopped at several sections including: flight medicine, pharmacy, family health, dental, radiology, ophthalmology, bioenvironmental engineering, mental health. 

During their stops, Miller said he was impressed with the way 97th MDG medics have taken care of each other and, in turn, their patients as they enable the larger wing, Air Force, and Department of Defense mission.

“I am very proud of the Airmen here and how they are supporting the training mission every day. Although their numbers are not large, they are small but mighty,” he said. “The last year has been hard for medics and that is why my focus is on Airmen. If medics take care of one another then they will do a better job at taking care of the patients.” 

Toward the end of his tour, Miller further oriented himself to the wing’s rapid global mobility training mission by touring a KC-46 Pegasus. 

“Seeing Altus’ mission in-person by stepping on a KC-46 and talking with instructors shows how important these roles are here to ensure students are trained and ready for the operational field,” he said.

According to Miller, the 97 MDG is relatively small but does the same amount of work as a large-scale medical group - a feat made possible by the attitudes and determination of Airmen in a place known locally as "Mobility's Hometown."

“This is such a great place to be because of the people,” said Miller. “The pride and passion the Airmen exert is what drives the motivation and enthusiasm.” 

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