BATH, ME -- Part of being a multi-capable force is having the ability to complete the mission anytime, anywhere. Our MAINEiacs from the Medical Group did just that when they traveled South to Bath Iron Works and climbed aboard the USS Carl M. Levin to help increase the crew’s medical readiness.
Bath Iron Works (BIW) is a major United States shipyard located on the Kennebec River in Maine and has been home for the destroyer for a short while now; prepping for its voyage on the open seas. Part of the extensive preparation for that trek is ensuring its Sailors are medically fit for the deployment, as medical care will be limited once they embark on their maiden voyage.
Jumping at the chance to work in a joint environment, the MAINEiacs were eager to help their brothers and sisters by orchestrating a team to travel from the Wing down to help increase the crew’s Individual Medical Readiness (IMR). The small team consisted of optometry and dental specialists, who quickly set up shop to do what they do best.
“It really is awesome being here and working with a sister branch,” Technical Sergeant Lindsy Evans told me as her team cycled through Sailors, checking their eyesight for anything out of the ordinary. Evans is a medic and seemed thrilled to be working in a new environment. “The ability to pack up our gear and bring our team to the patients is really neat. It shows off our capabilities and what the MAINEiacs can do at a moment’s notice.”
This event was a perfect example in a world where Agile Combat Employment is one of the key concepts to keep in mind when thinking about flexibility and increased resiliency. This team not only demonstrated that the MAINEiacs are capable, but that they’re passionate about stepping outside their comfort zones to be just that, increasingly agile.
“I think the last thing we would want is to head out and encounter a medical issue involving our eyes or teeth. It’s pretty cool these guys are here to help play a part in putting us out there.” GSE3 Gates has a pretty important job aboard the USS Levin; operating and maintaining the electrical components of gas turbine engines and propulsion systems. He was grateful to have the MAINEiacs there to help prepare for their deployment. “It’s certainly different seeing Airmen on board in a Navy setting, but that’s all a part of being flexible, right?”
All in a day’s work, the MAINEiacs had 98 dental and 29 optical exams aboard the USS Carl M. Levin, leaving them better prepared to complete their mission and increasing their IMR stats ahead of their 3 month journey to their destination.
Captain Katelyn Allen is a dentist and was leading the charge in dental exams aboard the ship, ensuring the sailors were fit to fight. “It’s nice to be outside of the office and in an environment I wouldn’t normally get to work in,” said Allen as she looked around at the back of the helicopter hangar where her team had set up shop. “To integrate with another service and get to know their needs is really cool. Just seeing what their life is like aboard a ship seems crazy, but here we are. I had no idea that I would ever have these types of opportunities when I joined the Air National Guard, it’s very exciting.”
At the end of the day, the team packed up their gear and headed for home, still in awe at the day’s office setting. They were extremely proud to work with the men and women of the USS Carl M. Levin and were honored to be part of the process to send them on their way to complete their mission.