MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
The Air Force Research Laboratory from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio and the Baltimore U.S. Air Force Center for Sustainment of Trauma and Readiness Skills, recently observed the 347th Rescue Group’s Combat Search and Rescue mission, here.
During their visit, they examined their aeromedical patient processes and survival kit technology in the hopes of reducing risks to improve the overall Air Force mission. According to Capt. Luke Sandbeck-Moriarty, 71st Rescue Squadron HC-130J Combat King II pilot, allowing the research agencies to view the 23d Wing’s practices gives them a picture worth 1,000 words that can save manpower, time, resources and money in the costs of research.
“This collaborative effort between the 23d Wing and the [observers] is an important effort in the Air Force’s solution to enabling risk reduction in combat,” said Sandbeck-Moriarty. “By seeing our personnel recovery practices, the [Air Force Research Lab] can see what technology, equipment and processes are needed in flight and on the ground to improve upon our standing CSAR capabilities.”
As the AFRL saw a simulated recovery scenario of a ground forces team suffering from an improvised explosive device, they were eager to see the 347th RQG’s equipment in action.
“Learning by flight is the best way to see if the Air Force is meeting the requirements to lessen Airmen’s time to locate and save isolated personnel,” said 2nd Lt. Brent Young, AFRL Materials and Manufacturing Directorate research engineer. “Witnessing the designs and signaling components of the [347th Rescue Group’s] survival kit tools in action will help us establish long-term plans to reduce these challenges.
“By visiting here and other installation’s technological aspects, we can identify potential limitations and address issues to further meet the challenges facing the CSAR mission.”
While the AFRL is invested in establishing immediate and distant plans to supplement the obstacles facing CSAR’s operations, Dr. Catriona Miller, Baltimore CSTARS director of research initiatives, examined the aeromedical processes and mock patient care to enhance the capabilities for the Department of Aeromedical Research.
“The ability to see in-flight patient emergency care on this scale is something we can’t often replicate back at our training facilities,” said Miller. “Although we can’t [reproduce] the effects of aircraft vibrations, movements and the hectic environment that comes with this [CSAR] training, we can still use similar scenarios and apply certain principles with the local first responders we support.
“After we take back these observations, we can develop a list of desired acts and cutting edge niceties to figure out how to better monitor patients,” Miller added.
For Miller, the HH-60G Pave Hawk’s .50 caliber machine gun’s percussive effects is one area she wants to explore in relation to advancing biometric telemetry and head trauma care.
After evaluating takeaways like these, the goal of the research agencies is to map out immediate and distant plans. According to Young, doing this helps the organizations establish requirements to allow major commands to authorize appropriate acquisitions.
“In our efforts to find ways to multiply our current assets and reassure our initial investments, our job as subject matter experts is to ensure requirements are applicable,” said Young. “Keeping up with current affairs and projecting long-term developmental projects to research technologies is the best way to ensure the Air Force’s established standards are being met.”