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59th Training Group activates, joins medical wing

  • Published
  • By Shannon Carabajal
  • 59th MDW
The Air Force's largest medical wing just got larger with its latest addition - the 59th Training Group. The 59th Medical Wing took command of its seventh group during an activation ceremony held Jan. 4 at nearby Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston.

The new unit joins a consortium of Air Force health care professionals and educators dedicated to the training and medical readiness of warrior medics worldwide.

"Training is the bedrock that supports the USAF's medical capability and the 59th Training Group has a long history of training the world's finest warrior medics. Consequently, the 59th Medical Wing is honored to add the proud and dedicated Airmen of the 59th Training Group to our team," said 59th MDW Commander Maj. Gen. Bart Iddins, who presided over the event.

Formerly the 937th TRG when part of the 37th Training Wing at JBSA-Lackland, the new 59th TRG continues to develop, deliver and evaluate medical training for 75 medical treatment facilities and deployment operations worldwide.

Located on JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, the group supports military medical service and medical readiness training at the Medical Education and Training Campus for 12,100 students annually, and at two operating locations, one detachment and 17 sites around the world. The staff also manages 125 acres at the Medical Readiness Training Center located on Camp Bullis in San Antonio.

Its partnership with METC affords training for the five uniformed services and international students. The group awards 24 Air Force specialty codes and 93,037 Community College of the Air Force credit hours annually while maintaining 14 national accreditations.

"We're excited to join the 59th (Medical Wing) and become a part of its great mission," said 59th TRG Commander Col. Steven Caberto. "Aligning under the 59th gives us the opportunity to consolidate Air Force medical education and training programs under one command.

"It makes perfect sense. We expect to achieve efficiencies, improve training and reduce redundancies by sharing information across the medical education and training enterprise," said Caberto.

Activating the 59th TRG grows the wing to 7,000 military, civilian and contract personnel and reinforces its status as the Air Force's premier health care, medical education and research, and readiness wing.

The 59th TRG is absorbing a mission that traces its roots to the infancy of aerospace medicine in 1917 outside Mineola, New York. The chief Surgeon of the Army's aviation section, under direction from the U.S. War Department, established a training lab for flight surgeons that officially became the School of Aviation Medicine in 1922. The school moved to Brooks Field, Texas, in 1926.

After the establishment of the U.S. Air Force as an independent service in September 1947, the service united many medical training courses at Gunter Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. In 1966, the group's medical training and readiness mission moved to Sheppard Air Force Base where it remained until moving to Fort Sam Houston in 2011.

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