910th MDS Airmen maintain readiness at Spangdahlem
By Staff Sgt. Jeffery Grossi, 910th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published August 08, 2018
SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- Seven Airmen from the 910th Medical Squadron, based at Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Ohio, went to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, to supplement their active duty counterparts and receive training, July 5-19, 2018. The 15-day annual tour provided the Reserve Citizen Airmen invaluable insight and aided them in remaining current and qualified with in their medical career fields.
Chief Master Sgt. Brian Marquardt, the superintendent of the 910th Medical Squadron, said the goal during those 15 days was to receive training for a variety of Comprehensive Medical Requirement Program readiness skills such as suturing, immunizations and surgical procedures that must be met every two years in order to remain qualified.
“For several years, Air Force Reserve medical units were restricted from going overseas on annual tour by a policy letter and conducted much of that training at their home installations,” said Marquardt.
The last time the 910th MDS attended an outside continental U.S. AT was in 2009 during a Medical Readiness Training Exercise in the Dominican Republic where the 910th’s Airmen provided medical care to more than 10,000 Dominican citizens over the course of two weeks.
As of last year, the overseas annual tour restriction was lifted and the 910th MDS jumped at the opportunity recognizing that there was much to gain from the experience. A prime example being, Senior Airman Briseida Restrepo, a health services management technician with the 910th Medical Squadron.
Having previously completed her five-level, Restrepo decided to use her two weeks abroad to get ahead of the game. She arrived in Germany with the intent to completely fulfill all 44 of her career field’s seven-level tasks. Now, within three years of joining the Reserve and spending two weeks in Spangdahlem, she has done just that.
“Everything has been signed off.” said Restrepo. “It’s important to make a list of what you want to get done. To know that list and know specifically what you need to learn. Just be prepared to learn everything you can, two weeks can go quick so you need to focus your time.”
Restrepo also gained first-hand experience in active duty systems and software that aren’t available in Youngstown’s medical unit like Armed Forces Health Longitudinal Technology Application (AHLTA) and the Composite Health Care System (CHCS).
“I learned about them in tech school but I never used them in Youngstown,” said Restrepo. “When we get deployed we are expected to know how to do the job as we were taught in tech school, even though it’s not applied at our unit. At Spangdahlem I got that experience.”
As a YARS 4A0X1 health services management technician, Reserve Citizen Airman like Restrepo find themselves operating in three sections of the medical clinic. However, while at Spangdahlem’s active duty clinic, Restrepo found her career field operated in several areas of the building.
“4A’s are everywhere,” said Restrepo. “Everybody here has been really great. I’ve been through every section and they all have taken the time to teach me things, to let me do the jobs they do every single day as professionals. Getting in there and letting me check patients in and use their systems has been a great experience and shows me just how important my career is in a hospital.”
Along with having the capability to train in their Air Force Specialty Code, the Reserve Citizen Airmen were also given the freedom to explore Europe and its culture. Airmen from the 910th Medical Squadron visited places like the cities of Cochem and Trier in Germany as well as Luxembourg City, Luxembourg.
“We loved the opportunity working with the 910th,” said Senior Master Sgt. Tameka Coates, the superintendent for the 52nd Medical support Squadron at Spangdahlem Air Base. “We gave the 910th the chance to sign off many of their core readiness skills verification which allows them to remain current within their career field.”