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Wyoming Air National Guardsmen mobilize to support 90th Missile Wing

F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. --

“I was deployed to Germany for a COVID mission that got cut short, so I came here,” said Tech. Sgt. Andrew Chester, NCOIC of Medical Readiness at the 187th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron. “I felt like I was missing out, so I wanted to volunteer.”

Troops from the Wyoming Air National Guard were activated Nov. 2, 2020, to assist the 90th Medical Group with COVID-19 testing.

“Currently, we have three activated Guardsmen,” said Tech. Sgt. Brittany Souder, NCOIC of the 90th Medical Operations Squadron’s respiratory clinic. "One of them is serving as a registered nurse who is helping us maintain the telephone triage, and she’s also been assisting with testing.”

Capt. Mary Burkett, a registered nurse with the 153rd Airlift Wing, volunteered to assist the 90 MDG after Col. Bonetti reached out to their wing commander for volunteers.

“I looked at it as a great volunteer opportunity to go over and help the active duty side of the house,” said Burkett.

The other two Guardsmen are service technicians who run test specimens from the respiratory clinic at the Military Personnel Flight building to the 90 MDG building.

“That running position is important for us because the COVID samples need to be ran within one hour after collection,” said Souder.

The increase of COVID-19 cases in Wyoming has dramatically affected the base and staff members, according to Souder.

“One thing that’s really important for medical personnel is making sure our own resilience is on point, “said Souder. “We’re here – and we need to continue being here – for the patient.”