137 AES holds joint emergency training with diverse airframes
By Senior Airman Kasey Phipps, 137th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 21, 2015
WILL ROGERS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Okla. -- The 137th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron participated in a joint Air National Guard training mission with the 130th Airlift Wing, West Virginia Air National Guard, Sept. 12, 2015.
The mission allowed the two crews of five to maintain flight readiness on a C-130 Hercules airframe flown by the 130 AW. This training helps the 137 AES experience different aircraft with new flight crews.
"It enforces the total force concept," said Major Robert Huhn, medical crew director. "I mean, we fly with active duty, guard and reserve. Everybody does something just a little bit different. So the more exposure to the different units that you have, the more you learn the tricks of the trade."
Each crew had three medical technicians and two flight nurses who trained in multiple scenarios designed to test their knowledge and skill in specific flight treatment areas. The crews treated and stabilized patients through several obstacles, including unexpected landings, cargo loads, in-flight fires, rapid decompression and trauma emergencies.
"I like that sometimes we sit down and break down the scenario, and that's really great to be able to think about what you're going to do," said Senior Airman Josselyn Davis, a medical technician on one of the crews. "When we're in a real-world situation, we'll have a more broken down way of looking at it. For me, that's extremely vital."
To successfully complete these scenarios, Airmen had to learn to navigate the complexities of the C-130 as opposed to the KC-135 Stratotanker, which they train on regularly. This included learning different space conservation techniques, litter positioning, tie down configurations and even power outlet locations.
"Today simulated a real-world mission that the Guard and Reserve are going to be taking on more often, which is a CONUS redistribution mission where the patients arrive from Germany," Huhn said. "We're going to pick them up at Andrews Air Force Base, and we're going to distribute them either up and down the coast or out to San Antonio for their redistribution west. This is the exact type of aircraft that we'd be doing that on."
"There's no way to fully understand what you're getting yourself into without fully doing what we do, coming out here and getting the rhythm down," Davis added.
While the major focus of the mission was recruit readiness, there were other equally beneficial outcomes, said Huhn.
"The biggest benefit from today was exposure to different airframes and different air crews from around the Air National Guard," he said.