Air Force agency enabling combat forces

  • Published
  • Air Force Surgeon General Public Affairs
To position the Air Force as a more lethal force, the Air Force Medical Readiness Agency is building and modernizing medical capabilities for peer and near-peer wartime operations.

“Lt. Gen. Dorothy Hogg [the U.S. Air Force Surgeon General] made it clear we have to look at readiness through a different lens and adjust how we deliver operational medical support,” said Brig. Gen. Mark Koeniger, Air Force Medical Readiness Agency commander. “For a long time, the United States has been involved in small-scale conflicts. Now, we are shifting our focus towards future contingencies unlike those we have conducted in the past 30 years.”

The agency, which began operations in June 2019, replaced two previous field operating agencies. It supports the Air Force Surgeon General with management and oversight of medical readiness activities. Part of its mandate is to sustain current medical forces while planning for future requirements.

With medical capabilities spanning 10 major commands, Koeniger said the agency is needed as an integrator to align activities to meet mission requirements.

“For example, Air Mobility Command owns the aeromedical evacuation mission and Air Combat Command owns the Expeditionary Medical Support System,” said Koeniger. “We are assessing how to best integrate those two capabilities in the context of possible peer and near-peer conflicts.”

The agency is exploring new ways to modernize its capabilities and meet evolving operational requirements, such as FlexMed and MedicX.

FlexMed is an initiative embodied in policy and information technology, said the general. It will take defined mission parameters, draw on personnel and logistics data sources, and use algorithms from artificial intelligence to produce medical force package options.

“FlexMed will determine the required medical support in terms of organizational structure, personnel and supplies,” he said.

Another initiative the agency is focusing on is MedicX, which will train all uniformed medics to perform tactical lifesaving skills, even if their primary job is something other than direct care. This initiative will expand and standardize the base level medical skills required in degraded operational environments.

“We need to be ready for possible operations against major actors, which requires our Airmen to be equipped with different skills and knowledge sets to deliver medical care in new and increasingly challenging environments,” said the general.

Koeniger believes MedicX is vital to evolving operational requirements.

“The Air Force is preparing for possible operations against major actors, which requires us to have the right tools, skills and knowledge sets to deliver medical care in increasingly challenging environments,” he said. “We provide combatant commanders with modular, adaptive capabilities. We are building a medical force that is ready today and ready tomorrow.”

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