Servicemen with local ties serving honorably during pandemic

Two area servicemen are playing a big part in serving the country in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Navy Cmdr. Tamera Tuttle of Dayton has been on the “front lines” of the COV-19 battle.

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Tuttle grew up in Dayton and now is serving in Dallas as part of the Department of Defense’s response to COVID-19, which is being led by U.S. Northern Command.

She is the director of nursing services and is responsible for over 28 nurses and 11 corpsman. Tuttle is working with local health authorities as part of the whole-of-government approach to support the community need, and that is something that Capt. Chad Ro is proud of.

“Protecting the American people and preventing the spread of COVID-19 is our main mission in Dallas,” Roe said.

The unit is an integral part of the approximately 8,000 service members from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force, including active duty and reserve component service members who are assisting state and local governments in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I think we have what we call ‘all hands on deck,’” Tuttle said. “It can’t just be the civilian contingent or military contingent, we are all fighting the same battle. The more people we have to fight the battle the more successful we can be.”

Building a successful military career in the Navy has helped Tuttle cultivate relationships and also prepare to battle something like COVID-19.

“I wouldn’t have spent 23 years in the Navy if I didn’t love what I do,” she explained. “I want to thank the City of Dallas for welcoming us, helping us and really the collegial relationship of working together to make this response effort a success and overall help us as a world to get through this pandemic.”

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The U.S. Navy’s EMFs are designed to receive patients from forward medical facilities or directly from combat areas in order to provide full resuscitation and emergency stabilizing surgery.

The personnel manning reflects that mission, a full complement that includes 447 physicians, nurses and other medical professionals, enough to care for 150 patients 24 hours a day on a rotating shift schedule.

Airman Zackary Shrewsbury is serving with the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group that has remained at sea in the Atlantic even as it has completed its most recent deployment. The mission is part of an effort to keep the crew healthy from the COVID-19 pandemic and remain combat-ready to take on missions if needed.

Shrewsbury looked to provide some relief to his shipmates recently and prepared cotton candy on the aft mess decks aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman.

Keeping the HSTCSG at sea allows the ship to maintain a high level of readiness during the global COVID-19 pandemic, he said.

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