Combat & Casualty Care

Q1 2017

Military Magazines in the United States and Canada, Covering Combat and Casualty Care, first responders, rescue and medical products programs and news\Tactical Defense Media

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Page 17 of 35

COMMANDER'S CORNER Colonel Lee H. Harvis is the Command Surgeon, Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), Hurlburt Field, Fla. Colonel Harvis is responsible for establishing, coordinating, and sustaining a health care system for AFSOC personnel and for organizing, training, and equipping AFSOC medical forces for contingency medical support. As the air component surgeon to USSOCOM, AFSOC/SG plans the execution of all Air Force medi- cal support for Air Force Special Operations Forces (AFSOF) and serves as the principal Air Force medical service advisor to USSOCOM. Colonel Harvis entered the Air Force on a ROTC Scholarship to study aerospace engineering at the University of Michigan and was commissioned in 1985. He was awarded pilot wings in 1986 and served as an HH-3E aircraft commander in Iceland, Patrick AFB, and Korea. In 1992, Colonel Harvis was awarded a USAF Health Professions Scholarship and graduated from Medical School in 1996. He was a distinguished graduate at the USAF Aerospace Medicine Primary Course and was the Chief Resident, USAF Residency in Aerospace and Occupational Medicine, School of Aerospace Medicine. During his career, he served as the Commander, 374th Medical Group, Yokota, Japan, the Command Surgeon for the 5th Air Force and U.S. Forces Japan, a UH-1N mission pilot for the 459th Airlift Squadron and 6 SOS, AFSOC's 23rd Air Force Surgeon and Chief of Aerospace Medicine, NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan Command Surgeon and 438th Air Expeditionary Wing SG, the Commander of the 51st Aerospace Medicine Squadron, a rescue liaison to the NASA Space Shuttle program, and he commanded the 66th Expeditionary Rescue Squadron (HH-60 helicopters) in Operation NORTHERN and SOUTHERN WATCH. In January 2002, following the events of "9-11", Colonel Harvis was deployed to Operation ENDURING FREEDOM where he established a forward operating helicopter unit in Kandahar, Afghanistan, serving as the 66th Expeditionary Rescue Squadron's first Detachment Commander, and was awarded the Bronze Star. Colonel Harvis also served as the Joint Special Operations Air Component Surgeon in Haiti during Operation UNIFIED RESPONSE and as the US Forces Japan Surgeon for Operation TOMADACHI's earth- quake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster medical response. Colonel Harvis is board certified in Aerospace Medicine, board eligible in Occupational Medicine, and is one of the Air Force's few pilot-physicians. A Command Pilot and Chief Flight Surgeon, he has more than 2,500 hours, including 80 plus com- bat hours in Afghanistan and Iraq. Interview conducted by C&CC Editor Kevin Hunter WORLD-CLASS OPERATOR CARE COL Lee H. Harvis USAF, MC, CFS Command Surgeon U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) C&CC: Please speak to your role as the AFSOC Command Surgeon and tell us about AFSOC medics. COL Harvis: Air Commando Medics are a unique breed of "quiet professionals." These men and women lead the way, selflessly entering the fray, risking their own lives to save others. In advance of other medical capabilities, Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) medics are often the first to break ground, providing superb care to civilians and combatants alike. Under the harshest conditions, it is their scalable footprint, expert skills, and state-of-the-art equipment, which make them indispensable. At a moment's notice, they set up shop amidst the devastation of such disasters as the earthquake in Haiti or the nuclear meltdown in Japan. In support of U.S. global interests, they establish operations adjacent to treacherous combat zones in places like Africa, Iraq, Syria, or Afghanistan. They make a difference. As recently as July 2016, a six-member Special Operations Sur- gical Team (SOST) was inserted one kilometer from ISIS front lines, surrounded by deafening mortars and endless gunfire. Based in a mud shack, these dedicated airmen allowed nothing to distract them. 16 | Combat & Casualty Care | Spring 2017

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