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Ambulance in the sky

YOUNGSTOWN AIR RESERVE STATION, Ohio --

“Can you hear me?”

The deafening roar of the C-130 Hercules engines makes the words nearly inaudible.

“What is your name?”

A team of Airmen maneuvering throughout the cargo area treating patients makes for a scene of organized chaos.

“How many fingers am I holding up?”

These are questions that you may hear if you find yourself aboard a C-130 Hercules with the 445th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron (AES).

There was a joint training mission conducted on June 7, 2017 where the 910th Airlift Wing (AW) provided a C-130, the 914th Airlift Wing provided a pilot and the 445th AES provided the training crew.

“We provide the platform for the (445th AES) that they would be using in combat,” said Lt. Col. Larry Kroecker, a pilot with the 914th AW. “This is the primary medevac transport for deployed stations. It’s currently being used with our troops in (deployed locations).”

It was a joint training mission that lasted nearly six hours. The aircraft departed YARS and flew to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB), Ohio to pick up the 445th AES crew members.

The aircraft then flew for approximately two hours in the areas around WPAFB while the AES members trained.

“This is an AES training mission where we conduct patient care emergencies, off-loading and on-loading of live bodies and other emergencies,” said Capt. Tyler Altier, a flight nurse with the 445th AES. “We have other crew members playing the roles of patients. It simulates more of a real-world environment downrange.”

After completing the exercises, the aircraft touched down at WPAFB to drop off the 445th AES crew members before making the roughly 45-minute flight back to YARS to conclude the joint training mission.

These missions are scheduled weekly for the benefit of all Airmen involved.

“We conduct these exercises to become more proficient in our job and to find weaknesses to develop upon,” said Senior Airman Dominic Slonkosky, a crew member with the 445th AES. “The most exciting part of this exercise is knowing that at the end of the day, I know how to save a life.”