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NEWS | Aug. 10, 2018

IMA helps keep education and training on track

By Daniel J. Calderón 59th Medical Wing Public Affairs

“There’s a very strong sense of service to the medical professionals I instruct which serve the combat warriors who defend the country,” said Capt. Laura Wittman, an Individual Mobilization Augmentee currently serving as a special projects officer in the 59th Medical Wing’s education and training department. “Knowing where I fit into all of that brings a lot of satisfaction in my job.”

After serving as a nurse practitioner for more than 20 years, Wittman decided she wanted to fly and her sense of duty helped lead her to an Air Force recruiting office. In 2011, she received her commission as a flight nurse and her first assignment with the 36th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron at Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina. She has been with the 59th MDW since October 2016.

As an IMA, Wittman fills a position vacated by a member of the wing who is currently deployed. Airmen in the IMA program are Air Force Reservists assigned to active-component units and government agencies. More than 50 commands, in addition to government agencies around the world, support IMAs. They work with their individual active-duty supervisors to work out a custom duty schedule that helps their unit meet mission requirements while the active duty personnel are deployed.

In her role with the wing, Wittman assists various departments as they develop education and training. She also conducts various training sessions, including basic lifesaving and advanced cardiac life support courses.

She said the IMA program perfectly leverages her skillset into the overall mission readiness of the wing and plans to remain in the Reserves for as long as possible.

“It’s a privilege to be able to serve in the military,” Wittman said. “My children are grown and they’re finishing up college and so I have increased opportunity to serve”