Ramstein supports AFRICOM, transports wounded Libyans

by Senior Airman Katherine Holt
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Four seriously wounded Libyan fighters were evacuated Saturday from Tripoli, Libya, and transported to Ramstein.

At the request of the Department of State, U.S. Africa Command was directed by the secretary of defense to support the humanitarian relief effort in Libya by aeromedically transporting more than 30 wounded Libyans to medical facilities in Europe and the U.S.

“We are ecstatic to partner with our friends in Libya,” said Maj. Gen. Margaret Woodward, 17th Air Force and U.S. Air Forces Africa commander. “This amazing team came together from all over the Air Force and from joint services to make this happen. We are very honored to have this ability to care for and provide good quality medical care that wasn’t available for these specific patients.”

The fighters were cared for in flight by a seven-person team from the 86th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron and a critical care air transport team from Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.

“We are always on standby and ready to go,” said Col. Meg Walsh, 86th AES commander. “We can go anywhere at any time.”

Flown in on a C-130J Super Hercules, assigned to the 37th Airlift Squadron, patients were loaded onto civilian aircraft and German ambulances then transported to German health care facilities.

“Overall, this was an exciting mission,” said Capt. Matt MacFarlane, 37th AS. “There were several aspects to think about when going into a country you have only heard about on the news. It was a great experience to see what we were doing and why.”

This operation was a very limited, short-term effort and is the only aeromedical evacuation mission at this time Team Ramstein has conducted in Libya.