445 ASTS Airman reflects on medical deployment to New Jersey

  • Published
  • By Capt. Wilson Wise
  • 445th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Although it’s been more than a year since Afghan evacuees arrived in the United States, an Airman assigned to the 445th Aeromedical Staging Squadron reflects on her time helping the men, women and children as though it were yesterday.

Shortly after the evacuations of Afghan refugees to the United States in 2021, Capt. Megan Busellato, 445th ASTS physician’s assistant, deployed with her husband, Capt. Anthony Busellato, 445th Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle operations flight commander, and a number of other 445th Airlift Wing members to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey.

The Busellatos were part of the deployment to New Jersey Sept. 10 to Oct. 31, 2021. While there, Megan Busellato was a key player in the establishment of a medical support system hospital to support the Afghan evacuees. She and a team administered thousands of COVID-19 vaccinations and provided a variety of needed medical procedures to the Afghan evacuees. In a short period of time, the team created a tent hospital that had a pediatric and obstetric clinic, a pharmacy and emergency room capabilities.

The time spent caring for the refugees was inspiring to Megan Buselatto. “Being there made me realize how important our mission is.” 

According to Megan Busellato, many of the patients treated were flown in from Washington Dulles Airport or Ramstein Air Base, Germany. In the camp, there were three villages that housed 700-800 people each. There were many women and children who needed medical care. As a result, the team set up five different medical centers. Services included emergency services, pharmacy, pediatrics, and obstetrics

“I am very proud of the team we had from the 445th and how well we integrated with civilian providers and medical service members from sister services,” Megan Busellato reflected.

On the civilian side, she works as a physician’s assistant in Columbus, Ohio.

“The deployment was a reminder of how fortunate we are to live in America. The people we served really want to be United States citizens. They came to this country with literally nothing and are starting over,” said Megan Buselato.