Sheppard AFB inactivates 82nd MDSS

  • Published
  • By John Ingle
  • 82nd Training Wing Public Affairs

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas — The 82nd Medical Group bid adieu to one of its squadrons during a ceremony May 13, 2022, when the 82nd Medical Support Squadron was inactivated.

Functions under the MDSS such as information systems, laboratory, logistics, personnel, pharmacy, radiology, resource management and TRICARE operations will now fall under the 82nd Health Care Operations Squadron. The squadron was activated on Aug. 5, 1994. 

Lt. Col. William Lunsford, the last MDSS commander here, called the past two years a “fantastic experience” and thanked the men and women of the squadron for being part of that. He said a good friend once told him that when his career comes to a close, it will be the people he’s worked with that will matter the most. 

He said the core fighting unit of the Air Force is the squadron, and is the unit that wages war against enemies abroad. The success of a squadron, he said, is based on the people within it.

Lunsford said he was tasked with four primary responsibilities as MDSS commander: executing the mission, leading people, managing resources and improving the unit.

“While those are my key duties, the one that isn’t on the list and the one I came into command to accomplish is doing right by people,” he said. “I view this as my most important job as a squadron commander. My most memorable times with you were seeing the wins, watching people advance, seeing people get promoted, learning about you on a personal level, saying what needed to be said even if it wasn’t popular … and striving to make sure each and every person understand their value in this organization.” 

Col. Felicia Burks, 82nd MDG commander, applauded Lunsford for his many accomplishments as MDSS commander, and lauded him for leading the squadron through many challenges during his tenure. 

“I know there are many challenges you faced and probably had no idea that you would face so much transition during this time in the midst of a pandemic, but your leadership here and transparency has been bar none,” she said. “I couldn’t be more excited that you have been here to lead us navigate this environment.”

Some of the highlights during tenure include the development of a COVID-19 dashboard to aid leaders in making data-driven decisions for the installation and subordinate units; creating a common-sensical flow of COVID-19-related materials during the pandemic; and playing an integral role in assisting group and squadron commanders reduce the number of students out of training.

In addition, Burks said Lunsford led the way for the MDG as it prepares to become part of an integrated health care system that includes Fort Sill and Altus AFB, both in Oklahoma.

Col. Daniel Bridon, commander of Reynolds Army Health Clinic at Fort Sill and leader of the Defense Health Agency’s Central Oklahoma small market, said he arrived to his new position in July 2021, one of the first comforting pieces of information he received was that Lunsford was on staff at the 82nd MDG here. They had previously worked together at DHA in Washington, D.C.

“So right away, I knew it was going to be an easy relationship with Sheppard, and it sure has been,” he said. “I can’t thank you enough for all the support, the coordination and collaborative attitude that Will embodies, and certainly it’s exemplified in all of the 82nd Medical Group here.”

Bridon said Lunsford was instrumental in building up the Central Oklahoma small market.