NAS Meridian Sailors Plan For Deployment To COVID-19 Hot Spot
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  • Celeste Smith

NAS Meridian Sailors Plan For Deployment To COVID-19 Hot Spot

Updated: Apr 14

In Meridian, sailors from the health clinic at NAS Meridian are preparing to deploy to

a COVID-19 hot spot soon.

The group, known as the "LIMA" team, has received notice that they are activated and once they receive notice of the location they will serve; they will leave within 48 hours.

The team consists of one military doctor, Lieutenant Commander Michael Racs and seven other hospital corpsmen.

“Nobody could expect this, you know, and we all have families and friends and loved ones, and its stressful time for everybody and this is the time to come together and each of us do our part to mitigate any complications associated with this pandemic”, Lieutenant Commander Michael Racs, Senior Medical officer.

Lieutenant Commander Racs shares, that although they currently do not know where they are going or what their tasks will be --they are happy to help.

“So, as of now, what we’ll exactly be doing is not known, we haven’t gotten any news on that. So, we could be helping civilians, we could be augmenting hospitals, we could be in some sort of field setting, where we see the healthy, while the hospitals deal with more of the acute ill patients. So, it’s unknown at this point, but we’re happy to do whatever we’re slated to do”, said Lieutenant Commander Racs.

Commander Nichole Olson, who’s the officer in charge of the naval branch health clinic, shares that her staff has been great during this time.

“You know, I have to say that I am just so impressed with my entire staff, the doctors, the corpsmen –we’ve all come together, we’re making sure we have the medical ready force , they are doing a phenomenal job, everybody and I just couldn’t be prouder of the gang that I have”, said Nichole Olson, Commander, officer in charge of the Naval Branch Health Clinic.

The team will be reporting to NAS Pensacola Hospital on April 14th for training. While there, they will learn which COVID-19 hot spot they are deploying to.

The Sailors being deployed are:

LCDR Michael Racs, HM2 Aaron Barnes, HA Shea Buquet, HN Dylan Ehler, HN Chad Nelson, HM2 Dakota Neel, HN Hannah Ross and HM3 Bishop Sisemore.