Transatlantic Knowledge Exchange: US and Norwegian Air Forces Enhance Aeromedical Capabilities

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Olivia Sampson
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

During a recent exchange between the U.S. Air Force and the Royal Norwegian Air Force, a crucial knowledge-sharing event took place focused on the 86th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron’s capabilities and procedures across the U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa theater at Ramstein Air Base, Feb. 14, 2024.

“The purpose of the visit was for a knowledge exchange with the Norwegian Air Force on aeromedical capabilities for both the USAF and the RNAF, and how we both conduct aeromedical evacuation of patients across EUCOM,” said U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Brian Mcginnis, 86th AES technician.

The discussions covered various aspects of AE operations including patient movement from the point of injury to advanced medical facilities such as Landstuhl Regional Medical Center and occasional evacuation to the United States.

Additionally, they shared tactics used across a variety of aircraft platforms based on mission requirements and the aeromedical configuration onboard those aircraft.

Best practices that differ between the countries were highlighted during the exchange including the composition of aeromedical teams. Typically, the 86th AES deploys teams consisting of flight nurses and AE technicians, while the RNAF incorporates additional medical personnel such as anesthesiologists, flight nurses and paramedics.

Furthermore, the discussion encompassed the geographical responsibilities of each aeromedical unit. The 86th AES supports the entirety of USAFE-AFAFRICA’s area of responsibility while the RNAF conducts patient evacuations only in Europe, often returning patients to advanced medical facilities in Norway.

“It is important to have these discussions,” Mcginnis said. “We can share our knowledge and learn from our NATO partners on how we can better execute the aeromedical evacuation mission across The United States and European Command and how we can help each other in the future fight.”

By leveraging each other's expertise and resources, both the USAF and RNAF aim to enhance their AE capabilities and effectively support combatant command operations and initiatives across the globe.

Ultimately, the overarching mission remains clear: to provide comprehensive aeromedical evacuation capabilities that ensure the timely and safe transport of patients, regardless of the operational environment or geographical location in support of NATO's collective defense and humanitarian efforts.

Through continued collaboration and partnership, both nations are better equipped to fulfill this vital mission and contribute to the collective security of the alliance.