Partnership in the Pacific: Army Reserve nurse provides medical care for Coast Guard unit

By Maj. Melodie Tafao | 9th Mission Support Command | July 10, 2020

HONOLULU —

A surgical nurse with the functional specialty team in the 322nd Civil Affairs Brigade, 9th Mission Support Command, began her voyage on the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Gerczak, in order to provide advanced medical support and ensure the health and safety of all crew members while the Coast Guard conducts Hawaiian Island patrol.

1st Lt. Kayla Kight, a 12-year veteran from Palm Bay, Florida, comes with an extensive background to include medical telemetry, oncology, acute care, family medicine, internal and preventative medicine. She’s also the first nurse to graduate from the 25th Infantry Division Jungle Operations Course.

“My courses, experiences and knowledge have set me up for success to provide adequate support for this mission,” said Kight. “I have been preparing individually for this mission by recently recertifying my licensures in Basic Life Savers, Advanced Cardio Life Saver, Pediatric Life Saver, and the use of the AED.”

Kight will be the only medical support officer on board from the Army Reserve in support of the U.S. Coast Guard.

“It’s kind of a test run for, hopefully, future operations where we push out a little further south, toward American Samoa and other Pacific regions,” said 1st Lt. Casey Rude, Executive Officer on board the Joseph Gerczak, part of the Sand Island Coast Guard Station in Honolulu, Hawaii. “She will provide that extra advanced medical support on our platform 154-foot vessel. There are no health service technicians from the Coast Guard so this will allow us to have that advanced medical care for those longer trips.”

In addition to providing important medical care, 1st Lt. Kight will also have additional tasks on board.

“She’s going to provide some advanced training to the crew with AEDs and other life saving techniques while seeing the day in the life of the Coast Guard as well,” said Rude. “We’ll run her through some of our drills and do some of the things we do.”

This is the first time the 322nd Civil Affairs Brigade is sending personnel for medical support with the Coast Guard.

“This is the first mission of its kind for us and in this region,” said Rude. “The connection was done through our district office. We want to strengthen the partnership with the Army and allow for potential future operations.”

Kight is grateful for this experience, saying, “I am thankful to my leadership for giving me this great opportunity, this is my first time participating in a mission like this. Ultimately, I am happy to give reassurance and trust to the team that I am competent and an expert in my skills.”

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