Lifesaving Collaboration - 86 Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron and Tunisian C-130 cooperate to save soldier

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Thomas Karol
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 86th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, stationed at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, transported a U.S. Army Soldier using a Tunisian C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, May 4, 2024, from El Aouina Air Base, Tunisia to Ramstein AB. The transport occurred during the multi-nation exercise African Lion.

African Lion focuses on enhancing readiness between the U.S. and partner nation forces. This joint all-domain, multi-component, and multinational exercise, employs a full array of mission capabilities with the goal to strengthen interoperability among participants and set the theater for strategic access.

The 86th AES’ primary objective is to deliver timely and essential enroute medical care to patients, ensuring critical care between medical treatment facilities.

“The aeromedical evacuation team transported the patient within 12 hours of notification of approved movement,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan Cruse, 86th AES Aeromedical Evacuation Technician.

Additional support was provided by TRANSCOM [U.S. Transportation Command] Patient Movement Requirement Center, Aeromedical Evacuation Control Team, The Army Southern European Task Force in Africa and the U.S. and Tunisian embassies.

The evacuation was critical due to the condition of the soldier and if it had not occurred the situation could have become more serious.

“The service member had a gastrointestinal infection a few days prior and was admitted to a local hospital until the aeromedical evacuation occurred,” said U.S Air Force Capt. Maria Oliver, 86th AES, clinical simulation element officer in charge. “The service member had a bacterial infection that resulted in complications to upper and lower extremities.”
Cruse spoke about the hospitality his team was shown by the Tunisian Air Force and how they helped ensure the operation had no hiccups and went according to plan.

“I loved working with the Tunisian Air Force because they were so accommodating and eager to help us complete our mission,” Cruse said. “They went out of their way to help us. If we didn’t have something we needed they made sure we got it and helped us every step of the way.”

Many of these missions are only possible due to Ramstein AB enabling the global gateway and fostering strong relationships between allies and partners.