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Continual Medical Readiness: Making everyone ready

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Vaughn Weber
  • 355th Wing Public Affairs
The Continuous Medical Readiness program was established to ensure that Airmen are ready to deploy within a moment’s notice at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.

In September 2018, 80 members from the 79th Rescue Squadron were given a 72-hour target window to get out the door. The CMR team, located within the 355th Medical Group had the task to ensure all 80 members were deployment ready. This tasking resulted in the 355th MDG performing four days of medical completion, over 40 hours of medical processing and disqualifying 21 personnel. Thus the CMR program was established, which allowed Davis-Monthan to streamline future processes and always meet the Air Forces standard of 72-hours.

“[DM] is leading the way in medical readiness through innovation,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Jeffrey Kiser, 355th MDG officer in charge of CMR. “For the first time in Air Force Medical Services history, we have a program designed to help streamline the medical readiness process.”

CMR integrates all unit deployment managers, commanders and direct line supervisors to have an active role in their service member’s healthcare by enabling them to be medically cleared and ready for deployment at any given moment. The CMR team also medically readies rescue and attack warfighters. The team accomplishes this by opening monthly appointments for service members on both flying and non-flying status to accomplish their CMR appointment. Once appointments have been advertised, Unit Deployment Managers across the wing schedule their members based on certain priorities the service member may be coming due for.

“It’s easier for [UDMs] across the wing to see who’s eligible for deployment and who’s not eligible for deployment,” said Airman 1st Class Taylor Rench, 355th MDG optometry technician. “It benefits all of the wing’s units, all the tenant units and keeps the whole base ready.”

The CMR program has many different clinics integrated within it to provide each warfighter with whatever they need for their CMR visit. Those needs include dental exams, optometry appointments, mental health screenings, women’s health appointments, laboratory appointments, audiograms, specialty exams, physical exams and any additional immunizations needed. After a CMR appointment, a member’s individual medical readiness record is updated to show that requirements have been met, enabling them to be medically cleared for a permanent change of duty, temporary duty assignments or deployments.

“In a day we get approximately 30 Airmen from all the squadrons around base,” said Rench. “Airmen are able to come through CMR and be readily deployable within that 72-hour window afterwards.”

Commanders now have access to a system that is designed to specifically target deployment requirements and supervisors are able to take better care of their subordinates as CMR tracks their member’s health concerns and service members are screened closer before and after deployments.

This all culminates in a more coherent medical process designed to keep Airmen medically ready to deploy anytime… anywhere.