Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

August 10, 2017 at 8:12am

Rainier Wing challenges Aeromedical Evacuation

Tech Sgt. Gabriel Itaya, Aeromedical Evacuation Operations Team NCOIC, radios flight crew to assist in launching an AE mission during the Mobility Guardian exercise on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Aug. 3. Photo credit: Staff Sgt. Daniel Liddicoet

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For the 446th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, Mobility Guardian is an opportunity to train and sharpen battlefield skills for medical troops from around the nation and world.

A majority of the AES participation from the 446th Airlift "Rainier" Wing for Mobility Guardian will be as ground members who will support flying crews going up on exercise missions, said Capt. Virginia Aguilar, 446th AES healthcare administrator.

"We will primarily have people running the Aeromedical Evacuation Operations Team," said Aguilar. "Their job will be to organize crews to get on missions and then tag those crews for specific flying missions once alerts come down."

As Capt. April Telan, 446th AES flight nurse, continued to explain, the crews will also be charged with maintaining the equipment and medications needed for Aeromedical Evacuation missions to be flown, as AEOT members will also be responsible for coordinating with the Aeromedical Staging Squadron members to coordinate the transportation of patients to the En Route Patient Staging System (ERPS).

"The people running the AEOT in deployed locations are usually kept very busy working in shifts 24 hours a day to prepare for medical alerts that need to be responded to immediately," said Telan.

The members running the AEOT have to ensure the ability for crews to respond around the clock by maintaining crew-rest schedules and ensuring that crews are always prepared and available.

Tech. Sgt. Gabriel Itaya, 446th AES AEOT non-commissioned officer in charge for Mobility Guardian, explained that part of the challenge in addition to the multitude of tasks the AEOT is charged with normally, has been setting up their AEOT capabilities from the ground up.

"When we came out here we had to learn to set up the whole area," said Itaya. "This has entailed unpacking and doing inventory of equipment as well as creating mission boards for use during the exercise."

Of the 12 members running the AEOT for the Mobility Guardian exercise, four of them are from the Rainier Wing.

In addition to the multitude of tasks AEOT members are charged with organizing, they are also present on the flight line to launch and recover every mission that goes out to ensure that the proper equipment is loaded and unloaded from planes.

"It's been a learning process as we've all had to learn to make adjustments on the fly," said Itaya, "Over the course of the exercise so far, we've already gotten a lot smoother in our process."

Mobility Guardian is a new exercise intended to enhance Mobility partnerships and test the full spectrum of capabilities AMC provides the nation. It began July 31 and is scheduled to conclude Aug. 12. The exercise involves participation from more than 3,000 U.S. military personnel from the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps in addition to participants from nearly 30 international countries.

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