Alaska Air Guard performs training mission in Alabama
By Staff Sgt. N. Alicia Goldberger, 176th Wing
/ Published May 03, 2011
HAYNEVILLE, Ala. -- Twenty-five Airmen from the Alaska Air National Guard's 176th Medical Group arrived here yesterday to provide medical assistance for this historically underserved community through May 10.
The group will be offering optometry, dental, medical and pharmaceutical services to residents of the area, located approximately 20 miles southwest of Montgomery.
A handful of Airmen from diverse support units accompanied the medical group to work service projects in the town, including a serious, on-going municipal plumbing problem.
The mission, officially titled "TOWN OF HAYNEVILLE 2011," is part of a nationwide program called Innovative Readiness Training (IRT). Through this program, run by the Office of Assistant Secretary of Defense, communities and federally recognized charities in need can apply for support from trained Guard and Reserve units.
The IRT program is meant to provide participants with readiness training, while leaving a lasting effect on communities, according to the IRT website.
"We are very pleased and excited to be able to serve the people of Alabama," said Lt. Col. Sherolyn Lange, Chief Nurse of the 176th Medical Group and operations commander of the mission. "Our people need this training, and by participating in this mission, we can accomplish our training, while at the same time lending a helping hand in a part of the country that's been very hard lately."
The Alaska National Guard members are working alongside approximately 35 comrades from other military services, including Marine Corp and Navy reservists and members of the active-duty Army, Navy and Air Force from around the country.