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Ribbon-cutting ceremony for new 36th AES building

Col. Deborah A. Deja, 36th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron commander, and Col. Jeffrey Van Dootingh, 403rd Wing commander, pose for a photo before cutting the ribbon in front of 36th AES's new building at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., September 7, 2019. The 36th AES is responsible for the in-flight care of wounded service-members as they are transported to a medical facility equipped for critical situations (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kristen L. Pittman).

Col. Deborah A. Deja, 36th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron commander, and Col. Jeffrey Van Dootingh, 403rd Wing commander, pose for a photo before cutting the ribbon in front of 36th AES's new building at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., September 7, 2019. The 36th AES is responsible for the in-flight care of wounded service-members as they are transported to a medical facility equipped for critical situations (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kristen L. Pittman).

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --

The Air Force Reserve 403rd Wing’s 36th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron celebrated the completion of their new facility with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sept. 7.

The squadron, still fairly new to the wing, having been re-designated from Pope Field, North Carolina in October 2016, serves the purpose of transporting and caring for wounded service members by air to locations where they can receive critical medical care.

With their new building, the squadron is better equipped to train and prepare for when duty calls.

Col. Deborah S. Deja, 36th AES commander, said the new location allows for more centralized operations whereas before, equipment and office space were separated and smaller than the new building. The building’s close proximity to the flightline allows for more efficient training and better mission readiness. 

Col. Jeff Van Dootingh, 403rd wing commander, presided over the ceremony and praised the squadron on the important, life-saving job they do as well as the importance of providing the new facility.

“They literally save lives, and they cannot do that if they are not trained properly. One of the ways that we get them trained to the level they need to be is to provide facilities to complete their training in,” said Van Dootingh. “I am really excited to be able to open this facility and increase our training capacity on the flightline.”