Biomedical Science Corps keeps Al Dhafra Airmen 'Fit to Fight'

  • Published
  • By MSgt. Dan Heaton
  • 380th Air Expeditionary Wing

At Al Dhafra Air Base, and across the Air Force, the BioMedical Science Corps provides a wide diverse set of services that promotes the well being of Airmen and other military personnel.

A part of the Air Force medical service, BSC personnel are members of 17 different Air Force Specialty Code career fields, ranging from pharmacists and mental health professionals to public health specialists and physical therapists. In January, the Air Force marked BSC Week to honor those professional who serve in the field.

“Warriors need contact with all of us at some point to stay fit to fight,” said Staff Sgt. Renaldo Maroney, a medical lab technician with the 380th Expeditionary Medical Group at Al Dhafra.

Maroney’s section has been particularly in the spotlight of late, as the base population – and the world – weathered another Covid-19 spike, this one brought on by the Omicron variant. Maroney’s duties include performing the analysis when local personnel are tested for Covid.

While the medical lab’s duties may have been top of mind, all of the providers in the BSC have an important part to play, said Major Gyasi Mann, public health officer for the 380th.

“Everybody has a part to play,” Mann said. “Many of our specialties in the BSC look at trying to prevent an illness. Obviously, if we are able to do that, it is a win for everyone.”

Among the tasks for public health is taking samples of the drinking water delivered to the base, as well as performing inspections in all on-base food-handling facilities, such as the Oasis, Windy’s and Roy’s dining facilities on the base.

As part of the team’s mission to support base personnel, physical therapist Lt. Col. Denise Lemon said many of the BSC providers are able to bring their services to Airmen in their work centers. On a recent afternoon, she and Master Sgt. Anthony Flores, physical therapist technician, spent time set up in a warehouse used by the 380th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron. Airmen lined up to have shoulders taped, elbows examined and back adjustments made.

“They might never come to the Med Group. But when we come to them, they line up to see us,” Flores said.

Lemon said thanks in part to the outreach efforts, the number of 380th personnel on a medical profile has been declining since November.

“The BSC is the most diverse corps in the medical field,” she said. “We like to think that we’re the glue that holds it all together.”

According to a 2019 report, across the Air Force more than 2,400 officers supported by 1,000 civilians and 5,800 enlisted members make up the BSC. Air Force-wide, the BSC includes physical therapists, optometrists, podiatric surgeons, physician assistants, audiologists, clinical psychologists, clinical social workers, occupational therapists, aerospace and operational physiologists, dietitians, bioenvironmental engineers, public health officers, medical entomologists, pharmacists, biomedical laboratory officers, and health and medical physicists.