AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar --
Personnel from the 379th Air Expeditionary Medical Group, Host Nation Support Cell (HNCC) and Plans and Programs (XP) have banded together to create a one-stop shop to answer any questions concerning COVID-19 at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. This team is known as the AUAB COVID Command and Control Team (AC3).
“Before this team, basically what would happen is any one of the three channels would get a call regarding the novel Coronavirus and we’d only be able to answer one part of their question, then transfer them to another entity,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Ryan Peake, AC3 HNCC chief. “So the idea with this was to have a team together so when a phone call comes in, we can give an answer and speak to the different parts versus people getting sent around in multiple directions.”
The three entities combined work together to provide answers to questions regarding public health, quarantine and isolation, Quarantine-Town and host nation policies They act as a liaison between Qatar immigration and the U.S. to coordinate off-base travel requests and to oversee education of processes and policies.
According to Col. Artemus Armas, 379th AEW AC3 team lead, with the newly formed three-man team, they are now able to answer nearly every question regarding COVID-19.
“COVID needs to be taken seriously and we are doing our best to compile the guidance as it becomes available so everyone can understand why we’re doing what we’re doing,” added Armas. “We are here to answer those questions and we want people to ask us.”
The efforts of the AC3 team have helped to sync AUAB entities on all matters concerning COVID-19, but its impact does not stop there.
“We get calls from other bases and from other branches within the area of responsibility and stateside asking about Quarantine-Town and flying into the airport here,” said Master Sgt. Emanuel McBride, 379th AEW AC3 non-commissioned officer in charge.
McBride emphasized remaining flexible in this COVID environment, as processes and policies have changed.
As long as COVID is around, AC3 will be ready to help alleviate the stress contacting different entities around base and to make sure everyone stays aware of current conditions.
“Ask the questions early,” concluded Peake. “Don’t wait until the day of to prevent any last minute scrambling.”