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Home : News : Overseas Operations
NEWS | June 20, 2024

Illinois Air Guard Medical Group Trains with Navy in Italy

By Staff Sgt. Vincent Lang, 126th Air Refueling Wing

NAPLES, Italy - U.S. Air National Guardsmen assigned to 126th Medical Group, 126th Air Refueling Wing at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, are conducting annual training in Italy alongside U.S. Naval Hospital personnel, U.S. Navy Medicine Readiness Training Command.

Members of the 126th who work in 12 Air Force specialties are training with U.S. Navy personnel at the U.S. Naval Hospital for two weeks in June.

“As we think about future deployments and our overall capabilities, this training allows our forces to generate quickly and embed in a joint force environment,” said Col. Troy Compardo, 126th Medical Group commander.

One component of the National Military Strategy states that joint forces have the capabilities necessary to prevail.

“As an organization on the medical side we need to be multi-capable, which is very important,” said Campardo, “This shows that both the medical group and the wing have capabilities that can be shared across the Air Force and DOD enterprises.”

This interoperable training mission in Italy is just one of the many ways the 126th Air Refueling Wing prepares its Airmen to respond anytime, anywhere in the world.

“The hospital is operated by U.S. Navy forces but a big part of the operations are built upon local national support,” said Compardo. “For us, to understand how local nationals support a facility and how we need to work with them differently is very important for us.”

The Air Force Ready Airman Training requires all Airmen to be trained in culture competency.

“This is very important for all Airmen,” said Compardo, “It’s not about computer-based training; it is about real-world experiences.”

“This is very hands-on,” said Compardo. “You go and experience a different culture and embed within that culture and also get the experience of the naval hospital team and how they have embedded within the Italian culture.”

“This is a good opportunity for everyone to grow their skills and understand the big picture of our mission,” said U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer D’Athony Brown, senior enlisted member, dental.

“It is becoming more across services — Air Force, Navy, Army — that we need to be able to operate cohesively,” said Compardo. “We are using similar technology and patient care modalities, which makes the total delivery of health care across our system seamless and ties into the Defense Health Agency’s vision of interoperability.”