Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

August 17, 2017 at 8:05am

Sharing knowledge

Capt. Grace De La Alas, 446th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron flight nurse, stabilizes a simulated patient inside a Brazilian aircraft during the Mobility Guardian exercise on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Aug. 10. Photo credit: Staff Sgt. Daniel Liddicoet

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Mobility Guardian offered international, partner-nation opportunities including exposing aircrews to critical aeromedical evacuation patient stabilization training.

For the 446th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, the opportunity to train with a Brazilian air crew in their Casa 295 to share knowledge about how to stabilize and transport patients using the smaller Brazilian aircraft was one of the highlights of the exercise.

"We've had a lot of international participants for Mobility Guardian," said Capt. Virginia Aguilar 446th AES healthcare administrator, "and Brazil was one we really enjoyed working with."

While the Brazilian air crew had previously performed casualty evacuation using their aircraft, they did not have experience with aeromedical evacuation that involved patient stabilization.

"The goal was to see if their aircraft could be used for future aeromedical evacuation missions based on some of the standards that we use," said Aguilar.

The 446th AES loaded their own equipment onto the aircraft to attempt to simulate an aeromedical evacuation as realistically as possible.

"We were trying to work with the Brazilians to share with them what resources they would need to transport patients," said 1st Lt. Kyoung Craddock, 446th AES flight nurse.

Working on a different airframe from the C-17 Globemaster III, AES was able to simulate operating on a Brazilian aircraft.

"We brought along our own oxygen and our own electrical equipment to try and see how we would be able to operate within their aircraft," said Capt. Grace De La Alas, 446th AES Flight Nurse.

Once the 446th AES loaded their equipment and simulated patients onto the aircraft, they flew to Fairchild Air Force Base to attempt at Engine-Running On-load (ERO).

"The goal was to be able to off-load and on-load as quickly as possible," said Alas, "to show them what we would do in an emergency situation."

EROs require a lot of oversight, including safety.

"There's much more safety oversight required to perform and ERO," said Craddock. "We do it to simulate what might need to happen in a combat environment if the pilot tells us we need get out of their as quickly as possible."

Although there were no Brazilian medical personnel on the flight, the Brazilian air crew was able to document and record much of what AES was able to share.

"It was a great experience for us," said Aguilar. It was a good brainstorming opportunity for us and we feel like both sides benefited a lot."

The opportunity to train with new equipment and exchange best practices for the purposes of advancing the readiness of U.S. allied partners has been one of the central components of Mobility Guardian.

Mobility Guardian included 54 aircraft from 11 nations and enabled personnel from 25 nations to enhance interoperability.

Crews flew approximately 1,200 hours in eight days, executing nearly 650 sorties during Exercise Mobility Guardian, July 31 to Aug. 12.

During those missions, refueling aircraft offloaded roughly 1.2 million pounds of fuel; aerial port personnel processed 3,676 passengers and 4,911 tons of equipment; and crews airdropped 356 paratroopers, 33 heavy platforms and nearly 300 Container Delivery System bundles.

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