An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : Article View
NEWS | Aug. 11, 2022

Minnesota National Guard and Niger improve medical capabilities

By Amy M. Lovgren, 133rd Airlift Wing

ST. PAUL, Minn.– Three members of the Nigerien armed forces’ medical leadership team visited the 133rd Medical Group and 109th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron to learn more about the capabilities of providing medical care while on board a C-130 Hercules. During their one-day visit, the Nigeriens witnessed a C-130 Hercules being prepared for an aeromedical evacuation training mission. They learned more about the Medical Group’s Critical Care Air Transport Team and En-Route Patient Staging Team.

“The last few years, the Indiana National Guard and Niger have been working together to improve the medical capabilities for their armed forces,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Brian Dykstra, Indiana National Guard. “Their medical leadership team came to Indiana to learn what capabilities we have in the United States of America.”

Indiana is the home of two U.S. Air Force Wings, the 122nd Fighter Wing and the 181st Intelligence Wing; however, neither of the wings has the capabilities the Nigeriens were looking for.

“We reached out to Minnesota based off of the capabilities the Nigeriens were looking for,” said Dykstra. “They are trying to develop Tactical Combat Casualty Care [program] along with learning about the capabilities for some of their airframes. Minnesota checks the boxes for having Critical Care Air Transport Team, Aeromedical Evacuation Team, and En-Route Patient Staging Team.”

The visit was a positive experience for all parties involved with the education facilitated due to the assistance of a French translator, U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Kokou Azalekor, an electrical power production technician with the 133rd Civil Engineer Squadron.

“Azalekor has been so beneficial to our visit,” Dykstra recalls. “We were unable to have our translator come with us, so I was afraid I had to do Face-Timing to help answer the questions. The fact that he is here and speaks French had been fantastic.”

Dysktra reflects on his visit to Minnesota with the Nigerien armed forces’ medical leadership team as a great experience. The 133rd Medical Group and the 109th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron demonstrated combat care through aeromedical evacuation movements, providing invaluable hands-on training.



Related Articles
The 133rd Security Forces Squadron out of St. Paul, Minnesota, completed initial training for the Skydio X2D drone at Camp Ripley Training Center in Little Falls, Minnesota, Nov. 13-15, 2023. The eight enlisted Airmen are the first National Guard troops to become certified on the X2D drone.
Minnesota Air Guard Security Forces Train on High-Tech Drone
By Sgt. Jorden Newbanks, | Nov. 27, 2023
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The 133rd Security Forces Squadron became the first National Guard unit to certify on the Skydio X2D drone in November.“The strategic plan for the Air Force going forward is to adopt new technology. The...

A new C-130J Super Hercules aircraft arrives at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Ky., Nov. 6, 2021, ushering in a new era of aviation for the 123rd Airlift Wing. The state-of-the-art transports are among eight the wing will receive over the next 11 months to replace eight aging C-130H aircraft, which were built in 1992 and have seen duty all over the world.
4 Air National Guard Locations Chosen for C-130J Upgrades
By Air Force News Service | Sept. 15, 2023
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Air Force selected four National Guard Airlift Wings as the preferred locations to receive C-130J Super Hercules to replace their aging C-130Hs, pending environmental assessments.Eight C-130J aircraft...

U.S. Airmen with the 182nd Airlift Wing, Illinois National Guard, deplane a C-130 Hercules aircraft to prepare for exercise Air Defender 2023 at Wunstorf Air Base, Wunstorf, Germany, May 31, 2023. Exercise AD23 integrates U.S. and Allied air power to defend shared values, while leveraging and strengthening vital partnerships to deter aggression around the world.
182nd AW Leads C-130 Hercules Operations at Air Defender 23
By Staff Sgt. Paul Helmig, | June 15, 2023
WUNSTORF AIR BASE, Germany – The Illinois Air National Guard’s 182nd Airlift Wing is leading C-130 Hercules aircraft operations at the largest NATO multinational air forces redeployment exercise in history.Air Defender 2023...