Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

79th Medical Wing

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Country  United States
Role  Medical care
79th Medical Wing
Active  1955-1960; 2006–present
Branch  United States Air Force
Part of  Air Force District of Washington
Garrison/HQ  Joint Base Andrews Naval Air Facility

The 79th Medical Wing is the United States Air Force's single unit planning and implementing Air Force and joint medical solutions within the National Capital Region. Activated on 10 May 2006, it is the largest wing within the Air Force District of Washington and one of two medical wings in the Air Force. The wing was originally active as an infirmary at Youngstown Municipal Airport between 1955 and 1960.



The 79th Medical Wing is a tenant unit on Andrews Air Force Base, and headquartered at Malcolm Grow Medical Clinics and Surgery Center. As part of its mission, the wing organizes, trains, equips and provides medical forces for Air and Space Expeditionary Force deployment, homeland operations and in support of joint operations within the National Capiral Region, and is the east coast hub for aeromedical evacuation aircraft returning sick or injured patients from the Atlantic area.

Additionally, the 79th Medical Wing is responsible for providing medical support to Presidential, Congressional, Joint and Air Staff special airlift missions.

79th Medical Wing special interests

  • East Coast hub for aeromedical evacuation
  • Tri-service Integrated Health Care Service
  • Acupuncture Center
  • Air Defense Command

    The wing was first organized in August 1955 as the 79th USAF Infirmary at Youngstown Municipal Airport when the 79th Fighter Group was activated to replace the 502d Air Defense Group as part of Air Defense Command's Project Arrow, a program to restore fighter units that had compiled memorable records in the two World Wars. The unit absorbed the personnel and equipment of the 502d USAF Infirmary.

    In May 1957, the unit became the 79th USAF Dispensary, when the Air Force renamed its small medical units. The dispensary was discontinued along with the 79th Group in March 1960, when the ADC turned its factilities at Youngstown over to Continental Air Command for use as a reserve station.

    Predecessors at Andrews

    The wing started as a Medical Detachment consisting of one officer (Capt. Isadore L. Epstein) and 11 enlisted men who reported to Camp Springs and set up a dispensary. The dispensary had an eight-bed ward, two private rooms, a pharmacy, a dental clinic with two chairs, an x-ray machine, kitchenette and offices. Five ambulances were available and Walter Reed General Hospital and Bolling Field Station Hospital were used for consultation and emergencies.

    Named after Maj. Gen. (Dr.) Malcolm Grow in 1962, the center was dedicated to a man who served as a field doctor in both world wars, in 1949 was selected at the first Air Force Surgeon General and was active in military medicine until his death in 1960.

    Originally named the USAF Hospital Andrews, construction began in June 1955 and was completed in May 1958 to the tune of $5.5 million. Staffed by Bolling and Andrews personnel, the facility opened Aug. 4, 1958 and provided care to more than 75,000 area military personnel and their families.

    Today there are more than 600,000 eligible Department of Defense beneficiaries in the National Capital Region.

    On a typical day in patient care, Malcolm Grow Medical Clinics and Surgery Center sees 930 outpatients, 90 dental patients, 72 Emergent Care Center patients, conducts seven surgical procedures, takes care of 30 patients transitioning at the Aeromedical Staging Facility and fills 1,963 pharmacy prescriptions.


  • Constituted as the 79th USAF Infirmary on 20 June 1955
  • Activated on 18 August 1955 Redesignated 79th USAF Dispensary on 8 May 1957 Discontinued on 1 March 1960
  • Redesignated 79th Medical Wing on 5 May 2006
  • Activated on 10 May 2006


  • 79th Fighter Group, 18 August 1955 – 1 March 1960
  • Air Force District of Washington, 10 May 2006 – present
  • Components

  • 79th Medical Group, 5 May 2006 – 1 October 2008
  • 579th Medical Group, 10 May 2006 – present
  • 779th Medical Group, 1 October 2008 – present
  • Stations

  • Youngstown Municipal Airport, Ohio 18 August 1955 – 1 March 1960
  • Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, 10 May 2006 – present
  • References

    79th Medical Wing Wikipedia

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