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Staging facility prepares injured warfighters for flight

3/1/2007 - BALAD AIR BASE, Iraq, (AFNEWS) -- For warfighters who are injured in Iraq, the Contingency Aeromedical Staging Facility at Balad AB is where their road to recovery starts.

The CASF is a staging area where patients are prepared for their flight out of Iraq to Landstuhl, Germany.

The CASF is staffed by critical care air transport and aeromedical evacuation teams and assisted by volunteers from the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing. The critical care air transport and aeromedical evacuation teams are a group of highly specialized nurses, physicians, medical technicians and respiratory therapists who care for patients during medical flying missions.

After the patients are stabilized, volunteers assist the teams load patients onto buses for their flight.

"Patient care is an overall team effort," said Capt. Rebecca Shabel, a flight nurse with the wing. "The nature of the mission can rapidly change. You have to be able to adapt at a moment's notice. That's why flexibility is important during any change in the mission."

The CCAT and AE teams are assigned to the 332nd Expeditionary Operations

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