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Andrews and Bolling medical assets to combine, form new wing

ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE, Md. -- The 89th Medical Group from Andrews AFB, Md., and the 11th Medical Group on Bolling are scheduled to combine into the 79th Medical Wing May 12 at 9 a.m. in Hanger 3 on Andrews.

Maj. Gen. Robert L. Smolen, the Air Force District of Washington commander, will preside over the wing activation ceremony, during which 89th MDG Commander Brig. Gen. Thomas W. Travis and 11th MDG Commander Col. Brenda J. McEleney will relinquish command of their units.

General Travis will then take command of the 79th Medical Wing, headquartered at Malcolm Grow Medical Center on Andrews and Colonel McEleney will accept command of the 579th Medical Group on Bolling.

According to a document approved by the Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley, this realignment of Air Force medical assets is an effort to bring a single Air Force voice to the National Capital Region during day-to-day operations, as well as contingencies.

The transition will also provide AFDW and the Air Force National Capital Region an equal partnership with their Army and Navy counterparts as part of the Joint Task Force National Capital Region.

The realignment will require the existing 11th and 89th Medical Groups along with their subordinate squadrons to inactivate, resulting in their units' histories being retired. Andrews' medical group will be designated as the 79th MDG. Bolling's medical group will be designated the 579th MDG.

The changes will not affect medical service on either installation, said Linda Card, AFDW public affairs director.

"Both medical facilities will continue to operate on their respective installations," she said. "If anything, service will improve as medical assets unify their resources within the National Capital Region."

Members of AFDW, 11th Wing, 89th Airlift Wing, tenant organizations and other guests are encouraged to attend the assumption-of-command ceremony.

A reception will immediately follow the event. Uniform of the day or civilian business attire is required.