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News > Transformation RIE breathes new life into 72nd MDG training
Transformation RIE breathes new life into 72nd MDG training

Posted 3/14/2011   Updated 3/14/2011 Email story   Print story


by Brandice J. O'Brien
Tinker Public Affairs

3/14/2011 - TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla.  -- The 72nd Medical Group had a process which they knew could be improved. Nearly a year after introducing the transformation, the group is thrilled with the results.

The medical group changed "Readiness Training Day," the way they train for medical contingencies. Instead of addressing one scenario each quarter when the rest of the 72nd Air Base Wing trained, the 72nd MDG assigns its Airmen a schedule and a month in which to review issues pertinent to them.

"The changes made to our training schedule have proved to be extremely beneficial to the staff of the medical group and the readiness posture of the group as a whole," said Col. Robert Marks, 72nd MDG commander. "Under the old structure we tried to cram pieces of topics into a short period often leaving parts to be completed during the next training day. Under the new system the teams can complete much larger blocks of training without having to go over what was done last month. The whole process is much more efficient and receiving very positive comments from the team chiefs."

Last April, prior to the change, Readiness Training Day consisted of the entire medical group shutting down their operations for one afternoon each quarter. During the training, active duty personnel reviewed topics relevant to natural and manmade contingencies.

But, officials worried they weren't using the time as best they could. They opted to participate in a rapid-improvement event and analyze the current processes and better them; and personnel from several different Air Force Specialty codes and 16 Medical Contingency Response teams came together to discuss issues and solutions.

"We wanted to make sure we were using all the time that we had wisely," said Andre Dame, 72nd MDG transformation point of contact. "We wanted to make sure we were getting the biggest bang for the buck."

The group found if one unit practiced readiness skills verification training specific to their Air Force specialty codes, another unit could practice their medical contingency response plan when it was their turn.

The RIE also brought about several realizations.

"Lean event team members noticed there was a need for the teams to be more cohesive," said 1st Lt. Russell Ramsey, Readiness Training Day RIE team lead. "They felt they weren't functioning at an optimal level as a group and needed more time to exercise as a team."

The group began the new schedule in October.

"Our goal is always be in a state of continual process improvement," Lieutenant Ramsey said, therefore, we will take another look at the training day process later this year."

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