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459th medical units, SFS, RegAF, Guard, Navy team for joint training exercise

  • Published
  • By Maj. Tim Smith
  • 459th Air Refueling Wing

The 459th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron recently conducted a local C-130T Aeromedical Evacuation static training mission here in conjunction with the Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 53 "Capital Express" Naval Air Facility, Washington, D.C., the 459th Aeromedical Staging Squadron, 459th Security Forces Squadron, and Critical Care Air Transport Team members from the 316th Medical Group and 113th Wing, D.C. Air National Guard.

This collaborative training was centered around a simulated INDOPACIFIC mission with escalating tensions in the region where the team needed to move casualties from a contested environment to a safe location while under simulated small arms fire and missile attacks.

The C-130 crewmembers conducted simulated engine running on and offloads during three sorties for 25 litter patients, 20 ambulatory patients, and 10 attendants. The exercise included body armor and weapons training, and the medical personnel were tested on managing cardiac arrest, respiratory distress, psychiatric emergencies, and operating under missile attacks. The 459th SFS members also applied their medical training as they performed tactical combat casualty care when one of their defenders experienced a simulated gunshot wound.

“This training mission exercised several military specialties between medical, aircrew, and security forces personnel which developed our warfighters’ tactical skills and critical thinking beyond routine operations,” said Maj. Aaron Rankin, 459th AES Flight Examiner. “Airmen were forced to make decisions based off commanders' intent with limited access to command and control. Training scenarios incorporated stress inoculation in a controlled environment to include high-acuity patients, care under fire, and multi-trauma injuries. These scenarios were intentionally selected to better prepare our airmen for future operations.”

The joint environment ensured both Airmen and Sailors are better prepared to work together in future operations by learning the unique differences in how each operate. “One of the biggest takeaways was joint interoperability on a non-USAF airframe as we continue to pursue training opportunities on various aircraft to better prepare for tomorrow's fight,” said Rankin.

For some Airmen and Sailors, this was their first time interfacing with each other's unique mission sets. While AE is no stranger to the C-130, interfacing with the Navy provided a learning opportunity on the differences in how each service operates.