BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
The Biomedical Sciences Corps is being recognized during the BSC Appreciation Week, Jan. 23-27, 2017, for their achievements in the medical services.
The BSC started as the Sanitary Corps in 1917, which was established to combat infectious diseases. It wasn’t until 1949 that the Air Force Medical Service was officially established, and as the AFMS expanded, the BSC began in 1965.
The then Chief of Staff of the Air Force, General Curtis E. LeMay, signed Special Order CA-5 which brought 350 officers together from the Air Force's Medical Services Corps and Medical Specialist Corps to form the BSC.
Over the last 52 years, the BSC has continued to expand and now includes 17 different medical Air Force specialty codes.
“We are the collection of AFSCs that help support the mission of primary care to the patients,” said Maj. Alfred Felipe, 460th Medical Group bioenvironmental element chief.
The BSC now includes physical therapy, optometry, podiatry, physician’s assistants, audiology/speech pathology, clinical psychology, clinical social work, occupational therapy, aerospace physiology, biomedical scientists, dietetics, bioenvironmental engineering, public health, entomology, pharmacy, biomedical laboratory and health physics.
“Everyone plays an important role,” said Maj. Amanda Hardy, 460th MDG mental health flight commander. “The medical service could not exist without the BSC because we each add a little piece.”
The BSC is comprised of both clinical and non-clinical professions.
“I think one of the interesting things about the BSC is that it isn’t just one group of specialists; we have a very diverse set of officers and career fields that all are important to maintaining healthy people,” said Capt. Robert Justiniano, 460th MDG Air Force Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment manager.
The BSC Appreciation Week aims to educate military members and their families on the services that are available that they may not know about.
“This week is to create awareness; we want to educate people because a lot of them do not know what the BSC is and what professions are included,” said Hardy. “Even for me, each year I’m reminded of what everyone does.”
Even when the medical career fields are lesser known in the BSC, they continue to do their jobs and keep Team Buckley and the Air Force as a whole up and running.
“You may not know about us, but we are here looking out for you,” said Felipe.
Many of the career fields included in the BSC are part of the 460th MGD mental health unit and aim at not only treating military members and their families, but also educating them and possibly preventing situations from occurring.
“We try to focus on prevention and education; there are classes that are offered through our family advocacy program such as parenting and relationship skills,” said Hardy. The classes are to help people have healthier relationships and deal better with life stressors. It’s not just about seeing people when they are struggling, but hopefully get to them ahead of time so they can deal with any challenge that may come their way.”
Patient care is important to all components of the BSC, not just to mental health. The officers who work in these fields work towards the BSC motto which is “United in the Mission.”
“It’s a diverse mission, but it all goes back to patient care and making sure people are medically good to go,” said Justiniano.
The BSC officers on Buckley AFB strive daily to ensure a healthy, safe and smooth running environment for those who work and live on base.
“I love my job, I get to impact all three of the 460th Space Wing priorities on a daily basis,” said Felipe. “For Installation Readiness, we provide emergency response. For Mission Excellence, we keep our Overhead Persistent Infrared mission radiation compliant and we keep the Colorado National Guard flying with zero mission delays. For Airmen and Families, we ensure drinking water quality. It’s that impact of being able to have those impacts across all of those priorities every single day is pretty cool.”