USAF/USSF Surgeon General visits Tinker

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Leyinzca Bihlajama
  • 72nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Lt. Gen. Robert I. Miller, surgeon general of the U.S. Air Force and Space Force, and Chief Master Sgt. Dawn Kolczynski, Medical Enlisted Force and Enlisted Corps chief, visited Tinker Air Force Base, August 5, 2021.

The visit to Tinker is part of Miller’s immersion tour after becoming Surgeon General June 4.

Miller and Kolczynski were guided through the different clinics of 72nd Medical Group, briefed by Airmen on the workings of each section and how they have enhanced their processes in spite of COVID-19.

The recent Delta variant has ignited a new wave of infections. One thing that struck Miller was the self-awareness of vaccinated medical staff to get tested for the virus.

“It is very impressive to see staff make the right calls and get tested at the first sign of symptoms,” he said.

First Lt. James Dillard, a physician’s assistant in the 72nd Medical Operations Squadron was unable to attend, but was virtually coined for his contribution in the improvements and trainings of new COVID adaptations within the Warrior Clinic.

During their tour of the medical group, the duo also recognized Tech. Sgt. Holly Siefken, noncommissioned officer in charge of Pediatrics, Maj. Tikia Wright, chief of Laboratory Services, and Staff Sgt. Jessica Carter with the Operational Medical Readiness Squadron, for their exceptional work.

Miller and Kolczynski also stopped by the 552nd Air Control Wing, where they met with crew members and toured the E-3 Sentry. The crew discussed various health risks flyers face and the measures in place to ensure readiness upon emergent scenarios. Miller was captivated by the unique medical hazards that the aircraft’s equipment could introduce to the crew and the value of a flight medic who is familiar with the challenges they face.

“During rapid decompression a flight medic needs to be able to swiftly diagnose and treat up to 40 Airmen,” said 552nd ACW Commander Col Keven Coyle.

The surgeon general and chief also stopped by the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex and Occupational Medicine Clinic during their tour.

Miller and Kolczynski were briefed by OC-ALC Commander, Maj. Gen. Jeffrey King, on the importance of the ALC and its invaluable partnerships with local units.

The 72nd MDG provides health services to over 64,000 patients, supporting medical capabilities for Headquarters Air Force Sustainment Center, the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, the 72nd Air Base Wing and over 45 associate units.