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Air Force BMT integrates tactical combat casualty care course for all Airmen

TCCC

Air Force military training trainees practice exercise scenarios and tactical combat casualty care during Basic Expeditionary Airman Skills and Training at Joint Base San Antonio-Medina Annex, Texas, Feb 25, 2020. TCCC is an all-service members course that teaches service members lifesaving skills to render basic medical aid to a trauma casualty. (U.S. Air Force photo by Sarayuth Pinthong)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- The Air Force will fully integrate tactical combat casualty care into Basic Military Training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland March 2.

“The Air Force realized that this training was needed because of a number of things,” said Master Sgt. William Everett, 319th Training Squadron instructor supervisor of training. “Looking at 20 years’ worth of combat downrange and hearing from the physicians about surgeries that were going on, we realized how to save lives faster. And in today’s world of active shooters, every Airman needs to know how to act in any situation when duty calls.”

The course instructors received training at JB San Antonio-Camp Bullis in early 2019 with the Defense Health Agency in order to implement the course properly. TCCC is a three-phase process. Phase one, which is care under fire, will be covered most extensively during Basic Military Training. Care under fire involves tending to the needs of wounded service members while in a combative environment.

Phase two covers deliberate care in a safe environment, to include tourniquet application, wound packing, hemostatic dressing, airway procedures such as head tilt, chin lift and jaw thrust, as well as rapid casualty assessment. These skills are taught and practiced in the classroom as well as in-field assessment exercises at Basic Expeditionary Airman Skills Training.

“Out at BEAST, the Airman will perform the tactical combat casualty care during the Creating Leaders, Airman and Warriors, or CLAW, phase, when they’ll have several different scenarios injected in while they’re out doing tactical march throughout different obstacles,” Everett said.

Phase three is the evacuation of a patient for further treatment.

“We build in them the motivation and inspire confidence in them so that they’re able to do something by taking an action,” Everett said.

Currently, there are about 32 instructors who will teach TCCC to roughly 40,000 airmen each year. This training is helpful for military life as well as everyday emergencies in the civilian world, Everett said.

“Whether you’re downtown on the Riverwalk enjoying San Antonio’s Sunday afternoon and somebody’s choking on something, or whether you find a car accident on your local highway, the biggest part about this training is acting: having the confidence to act in a key moment when it’s the worst day of somebody’s life,” Everett said.

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