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Training for any mission, any environment

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Elizabeth Andreas-Feeney
  • 624th Regional Support Group

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii — More than 40 Citizen Airmen from the 154th Wing, 313th Airlift Squadron and 624th Regional Support Group conducted joint aeromedical staging and aerial port training here March 3 in order to build relationships and train for future real-world missions.

The event was a collaborative effort between the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve focused on both enroute patient care and staging, and cargo preparation and loading.

“Understanding our procedures and training on life-saving techniques sets the foundation and gives our Airmen an opportunity to identify their own strengths and physical limitations,” said Master Sgt. Tatiana Abasolo, the unit training manager from the 624th Aeromedical Staging Squadron, a unit assigned to the 624th RSG.

For many, gaining exposure through field exercises like this provides an opportunity to train in different environments alongside experienced Airmen, gaining knowledge that can be used while working in austere locations and as part of the U.S. Air Force’s Total Force.

“I go out of my way to ensure the safety of the aircraft and support the medical crews, who are potentially saving lives,” said Master Sgt. Timmy Long, a loadmaster with the 313th AS. “We train to set up equipment on the plane so the aeromedical evacuation crews can focus on the patient.”

Immersive training opportunities using a static aircraft, in this case a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, allowed the teams an opportunity to learn from each other so they can adapt to real-world missions in any setting.

“We set up training with our Guard and active-duty counterparts to continuously build upon our familiarization with the aircraft, basic litter lifting techniques, and medical readiness,” said Tech. Sgt. Donahue Pinto, a 624th ASTS aerospace medicine service craftsman, and the team leader for this event. “There are a lot of moving pieces in aeromedical evacuation situations, so we train to be ready for different scenarios our Airmen may encounter.”

Staff Sgt. Osiris Terry, an aerial port specialist with the 48th Aerial Port Squadron, a unit assigned to the 624th RSG, knows first-hand how important Total Force training is for him and his counterparts.

“It’s great working with other organizations because it allows us to build relationships and showcase the integration between the Guard, Reserve and Active Duty,” said Terry. “We are an important component of the supply line and deliver critical supplies downrange. We train in order to be able to react to any threat or mission required of us.”

The Air National Guard’s 154th Wing at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam is comprised of nearly 1,900 full and part-time Airmen with the mission of providing quality air power, at home and while deployed. The Air Force Reserve’s 313th AS from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, is assigned to the 446th Airlift Wing and provides ready Airmen to support global operations. The 624th RSG at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam employs more than 600 Reserve Citizen Airmen who specialize in providing the throughput of cargo, passengers, patients and runway repair worldwide.