Keesler medic receives flight surgeon award

Maj. (Dr.) Kirk Hinkley (Photo source: KAFB)
Maj. (Dr.) Kirk Hinkley (Photo source: KAFB)

By Steve Pivnick
81st Medical Group Public Affairs
Keesler Air Force Base

BILOXI, MS - Maj. (Dr.) Kirk Hinkley, 81st Medical Operations Squadron, has been selected the Air Education and Training Command Flight Surgeon of the Year. He now competes for the Air Force-level honor.

In his letter recommending the major for the Malcolm Grow Flight Surgeon of the Year recognition, Brig. Gen. (Dr.) Kory Cornum, 81st Medical Group commander, said, "While assigned to the 81st MDOS, Kirk excelled as a can-do flight surgeon and superb clinician...a trusted go-to officer for both deployed operations and home-station care.

"Kirk led our first CCATT (critical care air transport team) into Haiti after the earthquake. During 'Operation Unified Response,' he developed a field expedient triage and validation system, ensuring fluidity of the aeromedical evacuation system in extremely trying conditions. He then led his team on seven missions to CONUS, moving over 300 patients safely."

The general continued, "Following this rapid response, Dr. Hinkley was selected by (Brig.) Gen. (Dr.) (Dan) Wyman to attend the spring AMP (Aerospace Medicine Primary course) where he was a distinguished graduate. Upon return from the course, he immediately took over the base flight surgeon's responsibilities.

"As our sole full-time base flight surgeon for three months, Kirk kept the aeromedical programs moving forward, provided expert guidance to line commanders and built partnerships between our medical squadrons that continue to this day.

"His hard work in UCI prep showed when his field response team had several byname star performers, contributing to our overall 'Excellent' wing score. Kirk returned briefly to the ER and is now deployed again (to Ramstein Air Base, Germany, until June) in the CCATT role, where again he is doing great things, this time bringing wounded warriors back from the AOR (area of responsibility)."

Dr. Hinkley entered active duty in 2004 after receiving a medical degree from the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine. He completed a residency in emergency medicine at Wright State University and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.