Looking to the Future with 190th Medical Group’s Top Eye

  • Published
  • By By Staff Sgt. Cole Harris, Public Affairs, 190th Air Refueling Wing
  • 190th Air Refueling Wing

FORBES FIELD ANG BASE, Kan. -- Fourteen optometrists from across the Air Force, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard traveled to the 190th Air Refueling Wing, 22-27 May, 2022. This is the second year that the 190th Medical Group has hosted the Top Eye professional development course.

Top Eye is an optometry-specific medical conference created to provide advanced education to practicing Air Force optometrists on how their trade impacts the Air Force’s ability to operate.

“Military doctors are required to attend advanced training in their field every year, and Top Eye fulfills that education requirement,” said Maj. Alyshia Leisure, Medical Readiness Officer in Charge, 190th ARW.

In addition to classroom education and keynote speakers, students got hands-on experience of how their role specifically affects the refueling mission by touring different assets belonging to the 190th ARW, such as a KC-135 and the Boom Operator Simulator System.

“I’d never been in a boom simulator before,” said Lt. Col. Michael Chatterson, optometrist, 155th ARW, Lincoln, Nebraska. “Being in one and watching the boom operator set up the refuel gave me a whole new perspective of what they do.”

Students learned how in-flight refueling is done, and just how important a boom operator’s vision is to the refueling mission.

Leisure said, “the BOSS shows us how critical depth perception is to the in-flight refueling mission.”


The class later visited the Kansas Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion/108th Aviation Regiment hangar and the unit’s UH-60 Blackhawks. They learned about the different missions Blackhawk helicopters are used for, as well as the equipment used by their crews.

“We had the opportunity to learn about the mission sets of the Blackhawks and gain insight to their visual needs,” said Lt. Col. Tad Baker, optometrist, 190th ARW. “It was a great opportunity to look outside of our current units and provide a richer understanding of our overall forces.”

The 190th Medical Group plans to carry on hosting the Top Eye conferences in the future.

 “We actually are planning to expand the program,” said Capt. Nicholas Clair, medical admin officer, 190th ARW. “We may possibly be including dentists in the coming years.”


Students from the Top Eye course tour a Kansas Air National Guard KC-135 refueler at the 190th Air Refueling Wing.