934th AES trains to save

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Corban Lundborg
  • 934th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
The 934th  Airlift Wing is home to the C-130 aircraft, a tough machine capable of performing in diverse environments from the desert runways of Iraq to the frozen Antarctic tundra. Yet the aircraft is only as impressive as its crew. The capabilities of the crewmembers within the aircraft are truly extraordinary. For the 934th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, the C-130 serves as a tool to evacuate, transport and save lives.

The 934 AES held a basic training mission Mar. 6 at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Air Reserve Station to improve and sharpen their medical evacuation proficiency. The squadron's mission is to provide in-flight medical care to patients aboard mission directed aircraft. The crews must maintain mission readiness to provide care at any moment.

"We are an Air Force Reserve squadron that helps evacuate patients from humanitarian missions to downrange combat zones," said Capt. Mackenzie Johnson, a flight nurse from the 934 AES.

The medical training missions provide the Airmen with different scenarios that they may face in a real world environment. The unit must meet certain requirements monthly for flight hours and exercise accountability. During a training mission they are confronted with a variety of medical emergencies, and must prove ready to handle any situation.

"Today we went over a respiratory arrest scenario, which is somebody having a hard time breathing," said Johnson. "We also were tested on cardiac arrest, which is somebodies heart stopping and then we had a psych emergency, which is very prevalent in the patients we treat."

The crews are capable of treating these symptoms while transporting the victims from point of injury to the nearest medical facilities. During their mission the patients simulated different injuries to test the crew's knowledge and improve their readiness. The crew was not only tested on medical emergencies but also aircraft emergencies as well. The Airmen must not only be trained on medical procedures but flight safety as well.

"Today our team also had a simulated aircraft fire," said Johnson. "When we train we want everyone to learn something new."

The Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron is made up of  nurses, medical technicians, medical service core officers, radio operators and medical supply specialists. The diverse skillsets work together to make up an effective life-saving team. 

"Every time we fly we learn something new," said Johnson. "We work together and everyone brings something to the mission."

To deploy highly effective evacuation crews comes with heavy cost. There is a lot of manpower, planning and time that goes into a training mission. At the end of the day the 934 AES stands ready as a unit to rescue, evacuate and save lives around the globe at a moment's notice.