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Saviors in the Skies

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jacob Dastas
  • 379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

Members of 379th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron tested their operational capabilities of in-air medical care for both service members and service animals by simulating treatment for a critical care patient, a surgical litter patient, and a military working dog.

This training was held in the cargo area of a 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron KC-135R Stratotanker during an aerial refueling mission showcasing the interoperability of medics and aviators. 

“Our mission is to provide safe, responsive, flexible, compassionate and life-saving aeromedical evacuation across the theater,” said Capt. Alyssa Perez, 379th EAES flight nurse. “This way, we align ourselves with the Air Force mission by being ready to fly, fight and win.”

Members of the 379th EAES continuously find ways improve their skill set to administer care to members in need during emergencies in austere environments.

“The purpose [for this training] was to maintain a readiness posture and practice medical scenarios that happen in this area of responsibility,” said Perez. “Adding on the MWD was a great learning opportunity, because transporting wounded service animals is not something we do every day.”

Five 379th EAES members worked alongside three critical care air transport team (CCATT) Airmen, whose work closely with EAES during in-flight medical situations to turn the aircraft into a flying intensive care unit. During the flight, both human and animal service members participated in patient operations. 

“Training sharpens our clinical skills which in-turn creates safer patient environments,” said Perez. “This training proved the value of our CCATT’s presence and our relationship with security forces, and we hope for more opportunities to train in the future.”

While real world operations are important, training for these real-world situations is vital for the 379th EAES mission.