355th Medical Group conducts reorganization ceremony

  • Published
  • By Airman William Turnbull
  • 355th Wing Public Affairs

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. – During a reorganization ceremony, the 355th Medical Group consolidated from three squadrons to two at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, Feb. 2, 2021.

By the order of the Secretary of the Air Force and Chief of Staff of the Air Force, the Air Force Surgeon General has been directed to reform Air Force medical services. The 355th Medical Support Squadron was deactivated and all personnel were moved into the 355th Healthcare Operations Squadron.

“After 27 years of service, the 355th MDSS is standing down and being absorbed into the 355th HCOS,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Patrick Parsons, 355th Medical Group commander. “The 355th HCOS will be under the command of [U.S. Air Force] Lt. Col. David Dennison.”

In the past, the 355th Medical Group has undergone many efforts that the members of the unit refer to as “The Big Five”: (1) The consolidation of Tri-Service medical functions to the Defense Health Agency, a wing reorganization; (2) the Medical Community of Interest network migration; (3) the Military Health System GENESIS electronic health record transition; (4) the Air Force Medical Service manpower reduction; (5) and now two medical group reorganizations as part of the Air Force Medical Reform.

“As I reflect on the magnitude and significance of these actions, it underscores how blessed I have been to command such an amazing team,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Joshua Curtis, former 355th Medical Support Squadron commander. “I’ve had the distinct pleasure of leading a team of 117 Airmen through a time of many historical events over the last 18 months.”

Under the command of Curtis, the 355th MDSS led the Wing’s response to COVID-19 deployments, while still supporting current deployment operations, as well as the COVID-19 sampling line for five days a week for nearly a year.

“I am eternally grateful to have been the last commander of the 355th MDSS,” Curtis said. “I am proud of my Airmen and I want to thank you for everything you have done, and for the amazing things I know you will do. I wouldn’t have wanted to serve with anyone else.”

The 355th MDSS was recognized for being able to sustain normal medical operations while combating COVID-19 for the past year, by winning 8 of the 10 group-level 2020 annual awards and earning a 98 percent from the College of American Pathologists no-notice inspection with just 30 percent of their manning.

As per tradition, the furling of a squadron flag signifies the end of a unit and after Lt. Col. Curtis resigned command of the squadron to Col. Parsons, the flag of the 355th MDSS was furled marking the end of its 27-year presence.

The Air Force continues to take efforts to build a more ready, resilient force by accelerating change. The 355th Wing exemplifies these efforts as the Airmen of the 355th MDG are continuing their mission under the newly reformed 355th HCOS.