In an effort to expand the U.S. Air Force’s aeromedical critical care transport capabilities, the concept of CCATT was developed in the early 1990s at the 59th Medical Wing, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, by retired Maj. Gen. P.K. Carlton and retired Col. Chris Farmer. Carlton and Farmer created the first written concept of operations, a table of allowances and a plan of action for formalizing the CCATT program.
The 59th initiated the CCATT proof-of-concept in 1994. It also created the CCATT Pilot Unit, which was responsible for making recommendations for training, equipping and use of CCAT teams. By 1995, CCATTs from the 59th Medical Wing and the 81st Medical Group at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, were deploying in support of overseas contingency operations. Following the completion of a two-year proof-of concept period in 1996, CCATT was formally approved and adopted into the USAF Aeromedical Evacuation System.
Since inception, CCATTs have participated in numerous operations: Operation Uphold Democracy, Operation Joint Endeavor, and Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, to name a few.
Recognizing the increased role of CCATTs in aeromedical evacuation missions, the Air Force Surgeon General announced in 2018 that the U.S. Air Force would increase CCATT capabilities to meet warfighter needs. To surge our CCATT capacity, the AFMS has streamlined existing CCATT courses and resources, requiring CCATT candidates to take courses in quick succession. By putting the classes back to back, candidates can focus on practicing the skills they need for the in-flight environment. As the Air Force adjusts its forces to meet unknown future adversaries, CCATT capability is likely to become more and more vital.