New Commander for the 79th Medical Wing

  • Published
  • By Melanie Moore
  • 79th Medical Wing Public Affairs Officer
Colonel Sharon Bannister assumed command of the 79th Medical Wing (79 MDW) on Tuesday, July 28, at 9 a.m. at the Ceremonial Lawn on Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, District of Columbia.

The event was hosted by Maj. Gen. Darryl W. Burke, Air Force District of Washington Commander.

"I can't adequately express how honored and humbled I am to be afforded the opportunity to lead one of the most unique Wings in the Air Force.  I am fully committed to ensure our beneficiaries receive only the best medical care and that they see our providers and facilities as part of a health care system they turn to with unwavering trust. Together, our 1,500 plus Wing members  - from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to Fort Belvoir Community Hospital to Joint Base Andrews and Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling to the Pentagon - comprise a unique medical facility without walls. We deliver ready medics and improve the health of all we serve and I am proud to now be a part of it.  I look forward to meeting each member of our team in the upcoming weeks," said Col. Bannister, 79 MDW commander.

The 79 MDW was activated on May 12, 2006 and is one of three medical wings in the Air Force.

The 79 MDW is a mission partner on Joint Base Andrews with two subordinate units: the 779th Medical Group located on Joint Base Andrews, and the 579th Medical Group located on Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling. Additionally, these groups have medics working across the National Capital Region (NCR) including Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Md.; Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, Va.; Fort George Meade, Md., and the Pentagon.

The 79 MDW is the Air Force's single medical voice for planning and implementing Air Force Service activity and joint solutions within the NCR. The wing consists of 1,550 health care professionals who organize, train, equip, and provide medical forces for Air and Space Expeditionary Force deployment, homeland defense operations, and support joint operations within the NCR. The wing executes general dentistry residency and graduate medical education training programs, a nurse transition program, and a multitude of enlisted medical training programs. The wing also serves as the air evacuation hub for the East Coast and is responsible for providing medical support to presidential, Congressional, and Joint and Air Staff special airlift missions.

Prior to this assignment, Colonel Bannister was the Deputy Command Surgeon of the Air Education and Training Command, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas. She provided daily oversight to strategic planning, budgeting, programming, assignments, health plans management, clinical quality management, behavioral medicine, deployment medicine, and medical policy for 14 medical units with over 10,000 personnel assigned to two medical centers, 11 medical treatment facilities and a training group.