From the Wiregrass
by LTC Scott Heintz

Greetings from the Wiregrass! I would like to begin by thanking all the presenters, attendees, conference and Holiday Inn Riverwalk staff for making our first AMEC of the millennium a success. Quite a bit of valuable information was provided this year, by the official presenters and during numerous informal mentoring sessions that took place during and after duty hours. We appreciate your AAR comments and will do our best to incorporate your suggestions into the next conference. Remember, the presentations are available on the MEPD web page at: www.cs.amedd.army.mil/medevac.

Early in the year, the Chief of Staff of the Army directed that all UH-1s and AH-1s would be out of the Army by 2004. We've been busy working with DCSOPS, DAMO-FDV, FORSCOM, OTSG and the ARNG to develop a strategy to meet the Chief's guidance while continuing to provide mission support for those locations affected. DAMO-FDV has contracted the Navigator Group to study the situation and provide recommendations. One particular option may be out-sourcing or contracting the mission to a civilian air ambulance firm. Navigator's sources sought survey synopsis (SSSS) was published in the Commerce Business Daily in May with a requested response deadline of no later than 14 June 00. We'll keep you posted on status of this action.

The UH60Q program continues to progress successfully as a result of a lot of diligence and hard work on the part of LTC Gene Pfeiffer, the assistant PM for UH60 at AMCOM. Barring any major problems, the 507th at Ft. Hood should see the first active component UH60Qs before the end of the year. The West Virginia National Guard will be the next unit to receive the modernized MEDEVAC platform in late '01 or early '02.

LTC Jim Mundy, the new manager at PERSCOM for the 91CMF has taken numerous initiatives to ensure that our flight medics are assigned to MEDEVAC units. He will actively track 91BF assignments to make sure these folks get to where they're supposed to be, but we need your help. Commanders, CSMs and 1SGs, I'd ask that you work with your personnel folks and the replacement centers to identify and appropriately assign the inbound flight medics to your units. I need the flight medics to identify themselves as such when signing in to a new location. If you are being assigned to other than a MEDEVAC unit, call the CSM or 1SG at that MEDEVAC unit and ask for assistance.

The folks at USAARL are making great strides in obtaining fleet-wide (blanket) AWRs for our on-board medical equipment. They have completed all testing on the Physio Control LifePak 10-59 defibrillator and expect approval very soon. The next two items approved should be the IVAC 2863 (re-named the ALARIS MS III) infusion pump and the BC13303 pulse-oximeter. Status of AWRs for these items and the remaining medical equipment will be provided on the MEPD web page.

Key to the success of the 2000 AMEC was the monumental effort put forth by MSG Newingham, MEPD's NCOIC. Unfortunately, we had to say good-bye to MSG Newingham shortly after the AMEC. He is currently serving as the 1SG of B Company, 168th Area Support Medical Battalion in Korea. MSG Newingham's contributions to the entire MEDEVAC community were numerous, and he will be missed. We wish him all the best in his new position. Picking up and not missing a beat in terms of initiative, professionalism and enthusiasm is our new NCOIC, SFC Marroquin. He brings a great deal of MEDEVAC experience to the office and will continue to serve the field in a responsive manner. Congratulations go out to my deputy, MAJ "Gino" Montagno, who was selected for promotion to LTC on the recent selection board.

That's all for now. I'd ask that all of you look at the MEPD Web page and provide me feedback with regards to how I can make it a more effective tool for you. Should you be visiting "Mother-Rucker," please stop by and see us. As always, lunch at "Larry's" will be on me. FLY SAFE & DUSTOFF!