GULFPORT, Miss. - The 183rd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, Mississippi Air National Guard, and the 189th Medical Group, Arkansas Air National Guard, trained alongside Coast Guardsmen from Gulfport and New Orleans in July.
The training included search and rescue demonstrations, medical evacuation response and familiarization with military working dogs.
“As we transition our warfighting environments, joint familiarity with other components, like the U.S. Coast Guard, is essential as we anticipate future missions,” said Capt. John Hughes, 183rd AES joint force training liaison officer in charge.
Airmen from the 183rd AES stand ready to deploy at a moment’s notice in support of military operations, natural disasters, and humanitarian missions across the globe.
“We are capable of providing support when partners like the U.S. Coast Guard need patients transported to a hospital, or if patients need additional support at a higher level,” said Master Sgt. Mark Goss, 183rd AES health specialist.
Airmen from the 183rd AES collaborated with the 189th MDG critical care team on transporting critically injured patients and air-to-ground equipment operations.
“While we share some of the same requirements, we’re different,” said Col. Terri Neely, 183rd AES commander. “Working with our clinic partners from Arkansas provides a smooth transition of them learning our job, and us learning their job.”
“If you’re downrange and you haven’t flown with these teams, then you’re not familiar with how they operate on the plane, or how that will affect your mission,” said Goss. “This controlled training environment allows us to figure out how each unit operates in flight while bringing every detail together.”
The 183rd AES consists of more than in-flight critical care specialists. Other team members such as logistics and medical administrators play an equally significant role for mission support during aeromedical evacuations. This year’s training environment allowed non-medical members of the 183rd AES to receive training on basic in-flight medical skills.
“We have reached out to all branches and different AFSCs to gain as much unique and different training as possible, which truly makes us multicapable Airmen,” said Neely. “We’re one of the few squadrons who have sought out and trained with the Army, Coast Guard, Active Duty, Reserve and Guard service members.”
A special part of the 183rd AES’s mission is support in natural disaster response and aeromedical evacuations, including potentially treating military working dogs.
“We trained with military working dogs because we have the capability to treat and transport those service members frequently,” said Goss. “If they need medical attention, we need to know how to treat them.”
Neely said the Airmen in the 183rd AES are always looking for new opportunities, and conducting training that is only being talked about at other units.
“We are one of the few squadrons who are on the cutting edge for truly developing multicapable Airmen,” said Neely. “This generation has some of the most innovative Airmen who are smarter than ever.”