RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany --
After the clock struck midnight on New Year’s day, many people began to put their new resolutions into motion. For medical professionals stationed here, their resolution was to start the year with training to maintain job proficiency.
Medical staff from the 86th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, En Route Patient Staging System (ERPSS), and Critical Care Air Transportation Teams (CCATTs) came together for a first ever training exercise in a C-17 Globemaster II on the Ramstein flightline.
“We haven’t had the chance before to all work together in this capacity and train for a real world scenario,” said Capt. Ashley Truswell, 86th AES flight nurse. “We wanted to start the year with an opportunity to prepare ourselves for future missions.”
The training exercise gave personnel from the different units time to work on cohesion.
“This training is amazing for us because we get to work on interoperability, relationships, and communication,” said Truswell. “New folks in the units also have a chance to work with the different organizations, which they may not have had the chance to do so before.”
By the three units participating together in a large training exercise, each organization could learn how the other two operate and adjust methods to provide a quicker and more seamless transfer of patients for real world events.
One of the most important aspects of the training was the interaction between the CCATT and aeromedical Airmen due to the scope of their jobs.
“We aren’t flyers, we are strictly operational, so we are always accompanied by aeromedical personnel” said Maj. Matthew Bracken, 86th Medicine Squadron critical care nurse, “The CCATT is made up of specialized physicians to include an anesthesiologist and respiratory therapist. Fortunately our workload has decreased in the last five to 10 years, and these trainings allow us to stay prepared for missions now.”
After the exercise closed out in a success, unit leaders concluded that the exercise will continue as a quarterly training event to provide medical Airmen another opportunity to hone skills and interoperability with other units.