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366th OMRS starts new medical combat training

U.S. Air Force Airmen take a group photo after a combat medical care exercise near Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The 366th Operations Medical Readiness Squadron created a field response training program to ensure Air Force medics receive realistic care-under-fire training so they’re ready to save lives down-range. (Courtesy photo)

U.S. Air Force Airmen take a group photo after a combat medical care exercise near Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The 366th Operations Medical Readiness Squadron created a field response training program to ensure Air Force medics receive realistic care-under-fire training so they’re ready to save lives down-range. (Courtesy photo)

U.S. Air Force Airmen provide combat medical care during an exercise near Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The 366th Operations Medical Readiness Squadron created a field response training program to ensure Air Force medics receive realistic care-under-fire training so they’re ready to save lives down-range. (Courtesy photo)

U.S. Air Force Airmen provide combat medical care during an exercise near Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The 366th Operations Medical Readiness Squadron created a field response training program to ensure Air Force medics receive realistic care-under-fire training so they’re ready to save lives down-range. (Courtesy photo)

U.S. Air Force Airmen debrief after a combat medical care exercise near Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The 366th Operations Medical Readiness Squadron created a field response training program to ensure Air Force medics receive realistic care-under-fire training so they’re ready to save lives down-range. (Courtesy photo)

U.S. Air Force Airmen debrief after a combat medical care exercise near Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The 366th Operations Medical Readiness Squadron created a field response training program to ensure Air Force medics receive realistic care-under-fire training so they’re ready to save lives down-range. (Courtesy photo)

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho --

Being healthcare professional in a hostile deployed location requires nerves of steel complemented by extensive knowledge and experience. However for medical technicians on base, there aren’t many real-world environments where Airmen could train while under fire. Or at least, there wasn’t.

Earlier this summer, Master Sgt. Kayleigh McAviney, 366th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron flight chief, created a field response training program to ensure Air Force medics receive realistic care-under-fire training so they’re ready to save lives down-range.

To simulate live-fire, McAviney conducted training with paintball guns.

“Our medics had to practice cover and conceal tactics and display effective communication while actively being under fire,” McAviney said. “We wanted to see their fight or flight instinct kick in so they can become familiar with it and control it when faced with a real-world scenario.”

The objective is to train medics on care-under-fire procedures, patient treatment, stabilization, loading and transportation. As well as building leadership and followership skills.

Airmen would team up and be thrust into several situations while an inspection team stood by to provide critiques and note areas for improvement.

“I had received similar training from past operations, and it really helped me gain valuable experience without actually getting shot at,” McAviney said.

So far, McAviney has received great reviews from the participants.

“You can know what you’re supposed to do all day, but it's an entirely different experience when you’re actually under fire,” said Airman 1st Class Mya Alcorn, 366th OMRS patient administrator, who participated in the course. “This training definitely helped me realize what it takes.”

McAviney trained 21 Airmen in the first course, but her drive for preparedness expands far beyond that.

“I plan to put every Airman at MHAFB through this training,” McAviney said. “I wouldn’t feel comfortable sending my Airmen on a deployment without some type of contingency response training that makes them think of their feet.

McAviney explained that this training is the best thing she can do to enhance Airmen readiness so they are cool, calm and collected under pressure.

As more and more Airmen go through this training, they will become un-phased leaders, more effective communicators and mentally resilient warriors who are better prepared to complete the mission.