31st Medical Support Squadron
Published April 24, 2009
The 31st Medical Support Squadron provides resource management (financial and manpower), TRICARE (health plans management), patient administration, medical logistics, medical readiness, medical information services, personnel and administration, pharmacy services and clinical laboratory services, in support of the 31st Medical Group and the readiness of the 31st Fighter Wing and associated units throughout the Southern Region. It supports a $56 million, 175,000 sq. ft., 21-bed physical plant, with a $15 million annual operating budget and $24 million manpower budget. It supports 8,700 eligible beneficiaries by providing optimal patient-focused medical care from internal, Department of Defense and host nation resources. The 31st Medical Support Squadron employs all its resources to ensure the human weapons system remains mission ready to support the Expeditionary Air Force, as well as U.S. and NATO objectives worldwide.
The 31st Medical Support Squadron was activated as a subordinate squadron to the 31st Medical Group when the 31st Medical Squadron became the 31st Medical Group in September 1994 as part of the Objective Medical Group realignment. The 31st Medical Support Squadron has played an integral support role in the dramatic build-up that has taken place at Aviano since the Bosnian peacekeeping efforts began in 1994. Addressing the predominant "quality of life" concern of the expanding American community at Aviano, a first-of-its-kind joint-lease agreement was signed in August 1996 with the neighboring community of Sacile to lease two floors of their inpatient hospital. In addition to the successful completion of the Sacile project, the 31st Medical Support Squadron directed construction of a state-of-the-art health and wellness center, a new flight medicine clinic, and developed an extensive TRICARE Network consisting of over 60 host nation providers and six local hospitals. The latest accomplishment is the $32.6 million NATO-funded hospital. Construction began in 2001 and phase 1 of the NATO hospital concluded in the summer of 2005 with the relocation of the Sacile inpatient and outpatient medical operations as well as existing ancillary and administrative services. Phase 2, completed in July 2006, transformed and integrated many existing Aviano AB medical operations.