72nd MDG conducts joint training with the 137th AES

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Miguel Andrade
  • 72nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The 72nd Medical Group recently conducted joint training with the 137th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron at Will Rogers Air National Guard Base in Oklahoma City.

The training focused on enhancing the skills and coordination of the medical and aeromedical evacuation teams to better prepare them to work together during real-world scenarios.

Nurses, Aerospace Medical Service Technicians, and Independent Duty Technicians from the 72nd MDG learned about and gained hands-on experience with medical equipment they will use in contingency environments but do not have access to at their location. They also reviewed treatment specific to the aeromedical evacuation portion of enroute patient care while familiarizing the 137th AES with the medical group’s role in the mission.

“At the end of the day, what we all care about most is safe patient movement and continuity of care,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Lane, 137th AES commander. “This annual training really helps increase our collective medical knowledge for when we deploy and work together. In the U.S. there are only nine AES in the Guard, 18 in the Reserve and two active duty, so our partnership is a little unique since most medical groups do not have the ability to conduct familiarization training with local aeromedical evacuation squadrons.”

During the training, the medical and aeromedical evacuation teams worked together to simulate real-world scenarios involving the evacuation of injured patients. 137th AES Aeromedical Evacuation Technician Flight Instructors guided members through proper litter carries, safety when approaching the aircraft, and common commands used during patient loading. Simulated patients were then transported by the ground medics and loaded onto a C-130 Hercules aircraft fuselage trainer.

“This joint training was a great opportunity for our teams to work together and hone our skills,” stated Lt. Col. Andrea Whitney, 72nd Medical Group chief nurse. “We have Comprehensive Medical Readiness training requirements that would be difficult to complete without this partnership. We are committed to providing the highest level of patient care, and it is vital that our Medics have as much exposure to what they might see in the contingency environment. We are grateful to our Total Force partners at the 137th AES for providing this training opportunity to help us be better prepared for any situation.”

The 72nd Medical Group and the 137th AES are both critical components of the U.S. Air Force’s medical readiness and response capabilities. By conducting joint training exercises like this, these teams are better equipped to provide life-saving care to injured service members and civilians in times of crisis.