452nd AMW medical personnel hone skills at Golden Medic
By Master Sgt. Al Eakle, 622nd Regional Support Group Public Affairs
/ Published July 07, 2006
AUGUSTA, Ga. --
Air Force reservists from around the country deployed here June 10-19 to participate in the Army Reserve's largest medical exercise, Golden Medic 2006.
About 200 Airmen set up a base at the city's regional airport. At nearby Fort Gordon, nearly 2,000 Soldiers took part in the exercise.
More than half of the Airmen at Golden Medic have deployed for Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
"Air Force Reserve Command has participated in this exercise from the beginning," said Chief Master Sgt. Tim Pittman, a key exercise planner from Headquarters AFRC, Robins Air Force Base, Ga.
"We started out with a handful of people and continue to expand participation every year," said the chief.
Set in a Southwest Asia scenario, Golden Medic tests the ability of Air Force and Army medical and support units to evacuate casualties from the battlefield to a hospital outside the region.
At the airport, Airmen set up a tanker airlift control facility. The facility served as a mini-base operations and controlled the flow of military aircraft flying into and out of the airport.
Ambulances and helicopters moved the patients from the front lines to the rear through a series of Army medical facilities.
At the forward edge of the battlefield was the Air Force's mobile aeromedical staging facility. Patients enter the Air Force aeromedical evacuation system at the MASF.
After assessing their medical conditions, medics moved the patients from the MASF to a waiting C-130 Hercules. An aircrew from the 911th Airlift Wing, Pittsburgh International Airport Air Reserve Station, Pa., provided the airlift.
After the C-130 landed, the patients went to a contingency aeromedical staging facility. Their medical conditions were reassessed and medical teams loaded them onto a C-17 Globemaster III for transport out of the theater. An aircrew from the 452nd Air Mobility Wing, March Air Reserve Base, Calif., flew the mission.
"We have to practice interfacing with our sister services so we can provide the best medical care in a wartime environment," said Lt. Col. Mike Dankosky, exercise director for the Air Force portion of Golden Medic.
"Golden Medic provides us an excellent opportunity to do just that and gain hands-on training in a joint contingency environment," he said.
According to the colonel, today's military medical care system offers a 97 percent survival rate after casualties make it from the battlefield to the theater hospital.
"The training Army field medics receive today, coupled with advances in today's aeromedical evacuation system and en route support care, has increased casualty survival tremendously," Colonel Dankosky said.