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315th AW welcomes home COVID response medical team

315th AMDS members return home from COVID-19 response.

Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 315th Aeropsace Medicine Squadron, Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, return home May 28, 2020, after serving the past month in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Bobby Pilch)

315th AMDS members return home from COVID-19 response.

Maj. Tamika Linen, a nurse assigned to the 315th Aerospace Medicine Squadron, Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, holds her two-year-old son and greets her husband after returning home from serving in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City May 28, 2020. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Bobby Pilch)

315th AMDS members return home from COVID-19 response.

Capt. Shawn Crowley, 315th Aerospace Medicine Squadron OIC education and training, hugs his two children upon arrival at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio May 28, 2020. Crowley was called to serve in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Bobby Pilch)

315th AMDS members return home from COVID-19 response.

Maj. Tamika Linen, a nurse assigned to the 315th Aerospace Medicine Squadron, Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, hugs her two-year-old son after returning home from serving in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City May 28, 2020. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Bobby Pilch)

315th AMDS members return home from COVID-19 response.

Lt. Col. Natalie Riley, a physician assistant with the 315th Aerospace Medicine Squadron, Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, embraces her two children after returning home May 28, 2020, from New York City in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Bobby Pilch)

315th AMDS members return home from COVID-19 response.

Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 315th Aeropsace Medicine Squadron, Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, return home May 28, 2020, after serving the past month in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Bobby Pilch)

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. -- As the giant C-17 Globemaster III from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, parked in its designated spot here, a half-dozen Reservists assigned to the 315th Aerospace Medicine Squadron from Joint Base Charleston, S.C., emerged from the aircraft to a heartfelt “welcome home” from family and fellow team members today, after responding to the call for medical personnel in New York City to fight the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

When these Airmen are not donning the uniform, many of them serve in the local medical community, leaving their civilian careers and family behind. 

“I am proud of my wife, but ready for a vacation,” said Jaime Linen, husband of Maj. Tamika Linen with the 315th AMDS, as he clutched their two-year-old son who was anxious to give his mother a bouquet of flowers upon her arrival. Maj. Linen serves as an operating room nurse at Trident Medical Center, located in North Charleston, when she is not performing her duties as a local Reservist.

The primary mission of these Reservists was to work in various New York City hospitals caring for COVID-19 patients and working within their civilian specialties. The team, which consisted of a doctor, two physician assistants and four nurses, left Charleston with 48-hours’ notice nearly a month ago to assist with the nation’s COVID-19 response.

Capt. Shawn Crowley, the 315th AMDS Officer-in-Charge of Training and Education and Trauma Program Manager at the Medical University of South Carolina, described the experience as patient care 101.

“We trained for what we were doing and provided a high level of patient care on a daily basis,” said Crowley with his wife and two young children by his side. “The team was tasked with providing daily intensive care unit work.”

All military members were tested for COVID-19 prior to being released. Of the seven Airmen from Charleston serving in New York, one returned last week, five returned today and one will return at a later date.

“I am proud of the work our Citizen Airmen have been doing to help fellow Americans,” said Col. Adam Willis, commander of the 315th Airlift Wing. “Now it’s time to bring them home to their families and say thank you."