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Reserve Aeromedical Staging Squadron in Pacific welcomes new commander

  • Published
  • By By Tech. Sgt. Garrett Cole
  • 624th Regional Support Group

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM -- Members of the Air Force Reserve’s 624th Aeromedical Staging Squadron here welcomed a new commander during a change of command ceremony Aug. 8.

Col. Edward Johnson, who has nearly 20 years of Air Force experience, took command of the 624th ASTS from Col. Lee Bradshaw, who is retiring after 26 years of military service.

“Col Shinas, thank you for having faith in me and selecting me for this outstanding position with the 624th ASTS,” said Johnson. “In brief, I won’t let you down. This is a special opportunity, and I feel this is going to be a great fit.”

Col. Athanasia Shinas, 624th Regional Support Group commander, congratulated the squadron on their continued contributions to the Air Force Reserve mission and provided words of support during the ceremony.

“The culture of the 624th ASTS is one of service and healing our brothers and sisters in arms and, most especially, one of ohana,” said Shinas. “Now as Col. Johnson takes lead of our ASTS Pacific Warriors he brings with him a strong track record of success as a leader and as a medical professional.”

Johnson previously served as the commander of the 349th Medical Squadron at Travis Air Force Base, California, since December 2015. He was responsible for ensuring Airmen were prepared to rapidly deploy, build and sustain forward based field hospitals to deliver full-spectrum medical care and preventative services worldwide.

Johnson started his medical career after graduating from the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine in 1987. He completed residency training in family medicine and aerospace medicine. Johnson received a direct commission as a major in 1996 where he served as a family physician, and later as a flight surgeon.

When not in a Reserve status, Johnson works in his civilian capacity as an occupational medicine physician in Monterey, California, and volunteers at a local hyperbaric chamber treating decompression sickness.

“Not only does Col. Johnson bring exceptional professionalism in uniform but also in his civilian capacity,” said Shinas. ““Col. Johnson truly embodies what it means to be a Reserve Citizen Airmen.”

The 624th ASTS, which is part of the 624th RSG, provides medical support for the entire Group, ensuring oversight of individual health and medical readiness, and deploys qualified personnel and equipment necessary for patient movement required worldwide. The Squadron supports worldwide operations, including exercises, humanitarian relief and disaster response operations.

“To carry out this mission it is extremely challenging especially in the reserve environment,” said Johnson. “How will we do it? We will do it with our people, the most selfless excellent people in the world. I look forward to serving with and for the men and women of the 624th ASTS.”