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5th CCG members support EMEDS in Chile

Senior Airman Patrick Walters and Staff Sgt William Kidd work on servers in Angol, Chile supporting an Expeditionary Medical Support team. The two Airmen deployed March 7 to support an EMEDS team in relief efforts after the earthquake in Chile Feb. 27. (US Air Force photo)

Senior Airman Patrick Walters and Staff Sgt William Kidd, 52nd Combat Communications Squadron, Robins AFB, Ga. build servers in Angol, Chile while supporting an Expeditionary Medical Support team. The two Airmen deployed March 7 to support an EMEDS team in relief efforts after the earthquake in Chile Feb. 27. (US Air Force photo)

Staff Sgt William Kidd, 52nd Combat Communications Squadron, Robins Air Force Base, Ga. adds a personal computer to the domain for the Expeditionary Medical Support team admitting desk to the domain in Angol, Chile. Sergeant Kidd deployed with another member of his unit March 7 to support an Expeditionary Medical Support team in relief efforts after the earthquake in Chile Feb. 27. (US Air Force photo)

Staff Sgt William Kidd, 52nd Combat Communications Squadron, Robins Air Force Base, Ga. adds a personal computer to the domain for the Expeditionary Medical Support team admitting desk to the domain in Angol, Chile. Sergeant Kidd deployed with another member of his unit March 7 to support an Expeditionary Medical Support team in relief efforts after the earthquake in Chile Feb. 27. (US Air Force photo)

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Two members from the 5th Combat Communications Group deployed to Angol, Chile in support of relief efforts after the Chilean earthquake Feb. 27. The team left March 7 and arrived in Chile March 11.

Staff Sgt. William Kidd and Senior Airman Patrick Walters from the 52nd Combat Communications Squadron set up communications to the support Expeditionary Medical Support team and its 83 personnel, mostly medical staff.

EMEDS is a field hospital that has the capability to house 10 patients. Though being able to house 10 patients may seem small relative to the devastation, said Sergeant Kidd. The town's 200 bed hospital was ravaged by the earthquake and was only able to support 16 patients. So the EMEDS field hospital was able to almost double the medical facilities in Angol.

The 52nd CCS Airmen also helped build tents and operate the command post, which allowed for morale calls and internet usage at night for deployed personnel.

Once the command post was set up, the duo went to work configuring servers to manage a local domain controller, file and print server that enabled a network-based medical tracking program.

They were also able to devise a way to use land mobile radios, in conjunction with the equipment supplied by EMEDS to set up a public address system for the field hospital.

The team moved communications to the Medical Control Center March 13, making the hospital fully operational. Later that night, the hospital accepted its first patient and two days later, the hospital performed its first surgery.

Combat communications once again leading the way and saving lives.

Senior Airman Patrick Walters and Staff Sgt William Kidd work on servers in Angol, Chile supporting an Expeditionary Medical Support team. The two Airmen deployed March 7 to support an EMEDS team in relief efforts after the earthquake in Chile Feb. 27.