***image1***The 86th Areomedical Evacuation Squadron began wearing a new unit emblem this month.
The new emblem was created when research revealed the unit emblem was not changed when the 2nd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron was deactivated at Rhein-Main Air Base and operations were moved to the newly stood up 86th AES here in 1994.
Unit personnel continued to wear the 2nd AES emblem, only changing the squadron name on the lower rocker to the “86 AES,” unaware that a new unit emblem should have been desginated.
The new unit emblem was developed with help of the 435th Air Base Wing, 86th Airlift Wing and U.S. Air Forces in Europe historians and the Ramstein Visual Information graphics section.
It was officially approved by the Air Force Historians office in late 2004 and was changed to reflect the evolution in the use of many different aircraft to accomplish the aeromedical evacuation mission.
A nightingale and a man on the old patch reference the C-9A Nightingale aircraft and the C-130 Hercules. The man lifts two stars, a symbol for the C-141B Starlifter. These three aircraft were the main frames used in aeromedical evacuation missions flown in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s.
The new patch pictures no aircraft, instead features the Air Force colors blue and yellow; blue alludes to the sky, the primary theater of Air Force operations; yellow (on the globe) refers to the sun and excellence required of Air Force personnel. The Red Cross and Staff of Aesculapius represent the medical profession and its dedication to taking care of patients. The silver wings refer to unyielding faith in the United States and the fellow servicemembers, and the purity of the squadron’s flying mission to rapidly provide life saving medical care and transportation for the sick and wounded. Above the globe is the unit motto of “Always Ready,” meaning the squadron is always ready to deploy aeromedical evacuation assets wherever needed when the nation calls.