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Military

By USAF TSgt. Heather Kelly

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Answering The Call At Home And Abroad
(April 6, 2010)

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DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. (4/2/2010 - AFNS) -- For some military members, the call to duty is only surpassed by the call to help others.

For Air Force reservist and 920th Rescue Wing member Tech. Sgt. Corey Hellmann, it's his motivation and mission in life.
Tech. Sgt. Corey Hellmann (right), a reservist from the 920th Aeromedical Staging Squadron at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. discusses the best way to load a critical care patient onboard an awaiting Air Force transport aircraft for medical evacuation from Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.
Tech. Sgt. Corey Hellmann (right), a reservist from the 920th Aeromedical Staging Squadron at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. discusses the best way to load a critical care patient onboard an awaiting Air Force transport aircraft for medical evacuation from Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. U.S. Air Force photo
When he isn't providing respiratory therapy at his civilian job in a level-one trauma center in Tampa, Fla., Sergeant Hellmann, in his military job, can be found administering critical care to wounded warfighters being evacuated from the war zone.

As a member of the 920th Aeromedical Staging Squadron at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., Sergeant Hellmann has deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years as a member of a critical care air transport team.

The CCAT and aeromedical evacuation teams comprise highly specialized nurses, physicians, medical technicians and respiratory therapists charged with the responsibility of patient care during medical flying missions.

After enlisting in 1997, Sergeant Hellmann served on active duty and in the Reserve before joining the unit in 2006. His first deployment came in 2008 when he served on a CCAT team in Iraq.

"I wanted to extend my deployment. It was my first one and I enjoyed my job immensely," said Sergeant Hellmann.

Although there wasn't a position for him to remain in Iraq, Sergeant Hellmann sought out other avenues to lend his support. His persistence paid off and not long after returning home from Iraq, he deployed to Afghanistan in 2009.

While he was performing similar duties during both deployments, Sergeant Hellmann noted that it was two extremely different environments.

"In Iraq, we split the missions with three other CCAT teams and we would typically fly once a week," Sergeant Hellmann said. "In Afghanistan, the operations tempo was much higher. Only two CCAT teams were in place, and we typically flew three times a week."

"Our crew in Afghanistan flew patients out almost every single day during the deployment," he added. "We were extremely busy, but it was rewarding to know we were making a difference in the field."

It is a sentiment that is shared by his leaders and colleagues at the 920th ASTS.

"Sergeant Hellmann's dedication embodies what we've come to expect from the members of ASTS," said Maj. Doug Schulte, 920th ASTS director of operations. "We encourage all of our Airmen to step up and answer the call. Our mission demands nothing less."

During Sergeant Hellmann's deployment to Iraq, his entire CCAT team was composed of members of the 920th ASTS.

"There is something inside that motivates us to do what we do" Major Schulte said. "You may not always remember patients' names perfectly, but you carry them with you where ever you go. It's a calling."

It's a call that Sergeant Hellmann and his ASTS Airmen are ready to answer again.

"Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps....it doesn't matter," he said. "We work hard and together as a team to bring our men and women home safely."
By USAF TSgt. Heather Kelly
920th Rescue Wing Public Affairs
Copyright 2010
 

Reprinted from Air Force News Service

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