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111th Med Group vaccinates wingmen, achieves top readiness rank

A woman in a military short sleeve short is vaccinated by a uniformed service member.

Pennsylvania Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Timi Jones, public affairs specialist for the 111th Attack Wing here, has the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine administered by Staff Sgt. Terrell Johnson, aerospace medical technician of the 111th Medical Group, at Biddle Air National Guard Base in Horsham, Pennsylvania, May 1, 2021. The 111th Med Group has administered 913 first and second doses to the military and civilian personnel on base so far. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Tyrone Mitchell)

Airmen in uniform surrounding a desk where a female in uniform checks them in.

Pennsylvania Air National Guard Lt. Colonel Angela McDonough, chief of dental services and medical administration officer for the 111th Medical Group here processes members of the 111th Attack Wing for their COVID-19 vaccine at Biddle Air National Guard Base in Horsham, Pennsylvania, May 1, 2021. McDonough and her wingmen at the 111th Med Group have administered 913 total doses of the COVID-19 vaccine on base from Jan. 27 , 2001 to May 20, 2001. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Tyrone Mitchell)

A group shot of the 111th Medical Group in their masks and utility uniforms.

Members of the 111th Medical Group here pose for a photo at Biddle Air National Guard Base in Horsham, Pennsylvania, May 1, 2021. The 111th Med Group has administered 913 total doses of COVID-19 vaccinations on base from Jan. 27, 2021 to May 20, 2021 while also meeting high operational readiness standards despite the global pandemic. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Tyrone Mitchell)

BIDDLE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Pa. --

The 111th Medical Group here has administered more than 900 total doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to airmen and department of defense civilians on base between Jan. 27, 2021 and May 20, 2021 while maintaining their top ranking for operational readiness in the Air National Guard.

COVID-19 presented its challenges over the past year. But, the 111th Med Group displayed their resilience by finding a way to keep themselves and their fellow wingmen safe while training and fulfilling additional mission requirements.

“COVID-19 created numerous challenges including, cancelled courses, limitations on personnel able to collectively train, and numerous medical personnel on missions,” said Col. Scott Coradi, commander of the 111th Med Group. “I decided we could either blame all shortcomings on the pandemic, or develop innovative aggressive measures to continue training.”

Though the pandemic tested their mission and individual medical readiness, the 111th Med Group found a way to forge ahead.

“We sought last-minute formal school openings, modified operations to afford Medical Group training opportunities and focused on preparation for our deployment phase,” said Coradi. “These efforts, as well as guidance from the National Guard Bureau on readiness reporting, propelled us to first in readiness.”

Coradi said the 111th Med Group leadership worked closely with Master Sgt. Marcos Nascimento, public health noncommissioned officer in charge, to find way to keep their patients and staff safe.

Lt. Col. Angela McDonough, chief of dental services and medical administration officer, talked about some of those safety measures.

“I believe for us you take the proper precautions,” said McDonough. “You mask up, you take your vaccine. And, you figure out a way to get people in the building so we maintain our numbers safely.”

In addition to thanking all of her teammates for their hard work, McDonough said Lt. Col. Joseph Paone, medical readiness officer in charge, and Master Sgt. Andre Ligon, the medical readiness NCOIC, were instrumental in ensuring the Med Group’s training requirements were completed and documented.

In addition to their own vaccination and readiness efforts, McDonough said the Med Group is also documenting those guardsmen who have been vaccinated off base.
Regardless of the challenges, the 111th Med Group’s efforts to keep its wingmen fit to fight has never wavered.

“We’ve really kept our operations running, and I think that’s a testament to the Wing commander and Col. Coradi and their vision for the 111th Attack Wing,” said McDonough. “We can’t just stop. We have to stay prepared.”