HJF's Hero of Military Medicine Ambassador Honoree 379th Expeditionary Medical Group

Accepted by Colonel (Doctor) Luis B. Otero, Jr. and
Lieutenant Colonel (Select) (Doctor) Elaina C. Wild


379th Expeditionary Medical Group

The 379th Expeditionary Medical Group (EMDG), assigned to the 379th Expeditionary Wing at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, is a medical support unit that is committed to providing reliable, speedy and quality medical care to enable members to fulfill their military duties, as well as aid in improving their combat‐readiness during operational missions. Collectively with a team of roughly 150 Airmen, the group is responsible for providing care to U.S. service members and coalition partners. The 379 EMDG has an 11-bed hospital with surgical capability and a 21-bed En Route Patient Staging Facility.

In addition to its local primary duties of providing medical care, the 379 EMDG fulfills the U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility mission by providing forward deployable surgical teams which offer rapid medical response services to Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Guardians, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, and coalition forces who operate in other deployed environments within the region. It also serves as the region’s hub for patient movement. Its Intra‐Theater Care Program allows for patients to be received, treated and returned to their deployed location; while patients that require a higher level of care, are cared for until airlift out of the region is secured.

Furthermore, the expeditionary medical group is highly distinguished within the Department of Defense for being its only expeditionary blood transshipment center, as well as the only individual first aid kit certifier and assembly point for members serving in the “central” area of the globe – between the United States’ European, Africa and Indo‐Pacific Commands. These responsibilities put the group in a unique position to support blood transfusions and re‐equip members with the necessary equipment and supplies required to increase survivability during wartime. Recently, the 379 EMDG was recognized by the Air Force for receiving the 2021 Air Combat Commands Surgeon General’s Hospital of the Year award.


Accepting HJF's Hero of Military Medicine Ambassador Award on behalf of the 379th Expeditionary Medical Group:

Colonel Otero is the Commander, 379th Expeditionary Medical Group, 379th Air Expeditionary Wing, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. He directs operations of a 10-bed hospital with an intensive care unit, emergency services, aerospace medicine, primary care, dental, and ancillary services providing care to joint and coalition forces in support of Operations INHERENT RESOLVE and ENDURING SENTINEL. His command also includes two Ground Surgical Teams, a 21-bed patient staging facility, the Department of Defense’s largest Expeditionary Blood Transshipment Center, a 20-bed medical-surgical Intra-Theater Care Program unique to USCENTCOM, and medical support responsibilities for Phase II Reintegration. He oversees medical support for disaster response and consequence management, and recommends force health protection policies to prevent disease and improve the health of 8,300 members.

Otero Ambassador


Colonel Otero entered active duty with the Air Force in 2004 after completing his residency in Family Medicine at the University of Chicago MacNeal Family Medicine residency program. He earned his medical degree at the University of Miami School of Medicine and was commissioned as an officer through AFROTC Detachment 155 at the University of Miami. He is a board-certified family physician with 18 years of clinical and educational experience serving in CONUS and OCONUS clinics and hospitals. He is a flight surgeon and has served as a chief of medical staff, squadron commander, and deputy group commander.

Lieutenant Colonel (Select) (Doctor) Elaina Wild is a Senior Family Medicine Faculty and Staff Physician based out of the 55th Medical Group, Family Medicine Residency Program, Offutt AFB, Nebraska. Dr. Wild is faculty for one of the largest Family Medicine Residency Programs in the Nation, and one of two combined Military and Civilian Residency Programs in the USAF. In addition, she was the Public Health Emergency Officer (PHEO) and Medical Director for the Public Health Working Group for the 55th Wing during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Dr. Wild is also the Sexual Assault Medical Manager, Allergy Immunology Clinic Director, and director of 5 additional programs critical to the delivery of ready reliable care.

Maj Wild


As the PHEO for the 55th Wing and Medical Director for the Public Health Emergency Working Group for the 55th Wing, she spearheaded the Wing’s public health and medical response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and created a Clinical COVID-19 Crisis Response Team. She was a consultant and liaison for Mission Partners such as US STRATCOM, State Wide Public Health, local Government, and Sister Services including National Guard and Reserve Units. Dr. Wild was deployed to the 379th EMDG, Qatar, in July 2021 as the Chief of Medical Staff. On this deployment, she led the clinical  response to the USA’ largest Non-combatant Evacuation Operation, directed 15  providers for over 12K visits, and ensured the safe care/transport of  60K  displaced  Afghans with zero deaths. She personally delivered 6 babies while directing medical capabilities for 7 DoD/Host Nation/Red Crescent clinics. Furthermore, she identified safety risks and inefficiencies, resulting in 17 Process Improvement Projects, including the overhaul of the AOR SAPR and COVID-19 protocols, and restoring in-theater surgeries. Her efforts were integral to the 379th EMDG earning ACC Hospital of The Year Award and The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine Hero of Military Medicine Ambassador award.  

Dr. Wild commissioned in the Air Force in 2006 after graduating with honors from her Bachelor’s Science degree in Chemistry and Biology from University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Texas and was accepted into the Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) for Medical School. She continued to earn a Medical Degree in 2010 from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. She completed her Family Medicine Residency and Board Certification at Travis AFB in California in 2013. Her first assignment was NATO Base Incirlik, Turkey, where she accomplished her Allergy Immunology, Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examiner, and Public Health Emergency Officer training, and continued to direct those programs for Incirlik and her next two assignments. In addition to being one of two preceptors for the IDMT program, she was also the Ambulance Services Director for this location. Further, she was part of a PRP inspection that earned accolades for outstanding PRP clinic across the USAF. Prior to her current position, Dr. Wild was assigned to Royal Air Force Base, Alconbury, where she reintroduced procedure clinics and brought back full scope of practice to the MTF. She continued as Medical Director of the Allergy Immunology Clinic, Public Health and Bioenvironmental Clinic, IDMT and Nurse Practitioner Training programs, and Public Health Emergency Response Teams. In addition, she was part of a team that rewrote the Disease Containment Plan and worked closely with Host Nation Public Health and Emergency Response Directors. Dr. Wild also was an integral liaison for both Turkish and UK Host Nation Medical and Public Health agencies at these OCONUS bases, including multiple joint Host Nation Tabletop Exercises.