Wright-Patt Airmen back from deployment to Detroit

Airmen from the 88th Medical Group gather May 18 at Wright-Patterson Medical Center to welcome home friends and co-workers returning from a two-month deployment to Detroit. The returning Airmen helped administer more than 235,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to Michigan residents. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO/R.J. ORIEZ
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Airmen from the 88th Medical Group gather May 18 at Wright-Patterson Medical Center to welcome home friends and co-workers returning from a two-month deployment to Detroit. The returning Airmen helped administer more than 235,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to Michigan residents. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO/R.J. ORIEZ

88th Medical Group supported vaccination efforts

Airmen with the 88th Medical Group returned from deployment to Detroit on May 18.

The Airmen were part of the Department of Defense’s COVID-19 response operation inside the community vaccination center at Ford Field. The team supported the Federal Emergency Management Agency and was overseen by U.S. Army North, U.S. Northern Command’s Joint Force Land Component Command.

The Wright-Patterson AFB group administered over 235,000 vaccines during its two-month deployment, often delivering up to 7,000 a day.

“We always want to do something that makes a difference,” said Maj. Erica Eyer, Aerospace and Operational Medical Clinic commander. “What better way than to make that difference in our own country.”

Maj. Erica Eyer hugs her children – Isla, Reagan and Brent – shortly after she stepped off the bus May 18 at Wright-Patterson Medical Center, returning from a two-month deployment to Detroit. Eyer, a nurse with the 88th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron, was among nearly 120 Airmen who deployed to Detroit to help at a mass COVID-19 vaccination site. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO/R.J. ORIEZ
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Maj. Erica Eyer hugs her children – Isla, Reagan and Brent – shortly after she stepped off the bus May 18 at Wright-Patterson Medical Center, returning from a two-month deployment to Detroit. Eyer, a nurse with the 88th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron, was among nearly 120 Airmen who deployed to Detroit to help at a mass COVID-19 vaccination site. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO/R.J. ORIEZ

The entire Medical Group team, base command, friends and family were there Tuesday to greet the Airmen and welcome them back home.

“We get a chance to deploy all around the world, but to be able to deploy here at home to go help our fellow men and women, that is just awesome,” said Col. Patrick Miller, 88th Air Base Wing and installation commander.

The Airmen from WPAFB had joined about 2,700 others from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force supporting federal vaccination efforts in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“I could not be more proud of our COVID vaccination team,” said Col. Christian Lyons, 88 MDG commander. “Our team was on the front line with helping get our nation through this pandemic and through the other side.”

The return from Detroit means decompressing and spending time with family for most of the nearly 120 Airmen who deployed. Although difficult, Eyer said the team met its objectives.

“We called ourselves Task Force Motor City,” she added, “and today, our commander said that we had accomplished the mission.”

Sebastian Ogilvie, 8, hugs his mother, Senior Airman Evelyn Ogilvie, shortly after she stepped off the bus May 18 at Wright-Patterson Medical Center, returning from a two-month deployment to Detroit. She was one of nearly 120 Airmen from the 88th Medical Group who deployed to support a mass COVID-19 vaccination site. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO/R.J. ORIEZ
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Sebastian Ogilvie, 8, hugs his mother, Senior Airman Evelyn Ogilvie, shortly after she stepped off the bus May 18 at Wright-Patterson Medical Center, returning from a two-month deployment to Detroit. She was one of nearly 120 Airmen from the 88th Medical Group who deployed to support a mass COVID-19 vaccination site. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO/R.J. ORIEZ