Aeromedical Evacuation knows no bounds

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jonathon Carnell
  • 60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
“At any time during normal operations, Air Mobility Command can be called upon to support humanitarian and contingency operations around the world,” said Lt. Col. Michael Earl, 43rd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron Detachment 1 director of operations at Travis AFB. “Training is how we respond with such effectiveness that the U.S. is known as the world’s first responders.”

The 43rd AES partnered with the 60th Medical Group Critical Care Air Transport Team from Travis AFB for an aeromedical evacuation readiness mission. The two teams tested their mission readiness by exercising their medical capabilities during a check flight Dec. 18, 2019 on a C-17 Globemaster III.

“This is a tool that we use to keep constantly knife-edge ready to step to the jet at any point in time, to support the directives and requirements brought to us by our commanders,” Earl said. “We can go anywhere, at any time, to support anything.”

Routine training missions are held to the same standard as a real-life situation, said Staff Sgt. Brendon Bowman, 43rd AES charge medical technician.

“CCATT is a specialized team consisting of three individuals: a critical care physician, a respiratory specialist and a critical care nurse,” said Maj. Faith Kelly, 60th Medical Group cardiologist and CCATT specialist. “We always travel with an AE crew to get patients from point A to B.”

Having a CCATT increases the complexity of patients who can be transported to a higher level of care, Kelly said.

“We do a lot of independent CCATT training, but the coordination with AE and how we can supplement each other on these training missions better prepares us for when we go downrange and transport patients,” Kelly said. “The teamwork aspect that goes into this is we train together as a unit. We are only as strong as our weakest unit and training is crucial so we can get a Soldier, Airman or contractor home without loss of life, limb or eyesight.”

Aeromedical evacuation training members are multi-platform qualified which means they can fly on most Air Force aircraft to complete their mission.

“People get injured overseas and our job is to get them back,” Bowman said. “Effective travel and effective medical care is our passion and our profession.”