Temporary ‘landmark’ removal signals improving times

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Hannah Malone
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

A common site at the 28th Medical Group prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic was removed from the medical facility at Ellsworth Air Force Base on May 19.


The mobile emergency operations center (MEOC) was loaned to the 28th MDG by the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron in March 2020 to allow COVID testing to take place outside of the medical facility and has now been returned.

The moving of the MEOC represents the improving conditions on the installation. The base is currently in Health Protection Condition Alpha and officials recently eased more restrictions for Ellsworth’s Airmen and families.

“While the red trailer in front of the med group became a symbol of COVID to many, it also represented the teamwork that allows the 28th Bomb Wing to successfully navigate the challenges faced as a result of COVID,” said Col. Robert Corby, the 28th MDG commander.

Corby explained that the “red trailer” is one of many examples of how their partners across the wing enabled them to accomplish tasks and maintain the readiness of the Raider community.

“When we [28th MDG] needed a solution for testing in front of our building, 28th CES offered the MEOC,” said Corby, adding that things changed again when inclement weather hit and there was a need for mass testing. “When we transitioned to winter COVID ops and needed a drive-thru location to conduct testing, the 28th Logistics Readiness Squadron graciously allowed us to utilize the Installation Deployment Readiness Center. When we needed to perform mass testing for Bomber Task Force operations, the 28th Security Forces Squadron gave us the Vehicle Control Center near the main gate and helped us stage out of the museum parking lot. Together, I think the Raider team can accomplish anything.”

Although the MEOC is now gone, COVID testing is still available at the 28th MDG.

“We will continue to perform COVID testing in front of the 28th MDG,” said Corby. “For now, we will be using another trailer, but we will soon transition to a covered area in the 28th MDG horseshoe entrance. With the limited number of daily tests we are having to conduct, this is much more manageable. While I hope we will not need to transition to winter COVID ops in the future, I know that we can rely on our wing partners again if the need arises.”

Corby added that Ellsworth is continuing in its fight against the pandemic and the 28th MDG is now providing the Pfizer COVID vaccine to Tricare beneficiaries who are 12 years of age and older. This includes any active duty members and their dependents, retiree and current base personnel – including civilians and contractors – who want the vaccine. The vaccine is administered as a two-dose series that will be separated by 21 days. To schedule an appointment individuals can call the Appointment Line at 605-385-6700.

“The Raider community is amazing,” said Corby. “It has been a tough year full of many challenges, but we have had some amazing success along the way. I am happy to see the MEOC move, but even more grateful to know that the Raiders had our back when we needed them.”