WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio --
The 445th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron conducted Aeromedical Evacuation Initial Qualification course training May 31 - June 9, 2016 here. The course is formally held by Air Mobility Command on Area B here, however the 445 AES requested a waiver for in-unit training in order to more expeditiously facilitate new members being trained.
“It increases our ability to maintain mission ready aircrews that are current and qualified to conduct their job all around the world,” said Master Sgt. Sean R. Smith, NCO in charge of aircrew training for the 445 AES.
“This is true not just for the 445th, but also for the Air Force Reserve Command as a whole,” said Smith. “This one course helped fill a larger need and facilitate inter-unit cooperation.”
After being approved for the waiver, AES was asked to provide training for Airmen from other units who needed it. The 932nd AES from Scott Air Force Base, Illinois and the 439th AES from Westover Air Reserve Base, Massachusetts sent Airmen to attend the course.
“The benefits right off the bat are that we get trained aircrew members,” said Smith. “Many squadrons have members that also benefit from the timeline in which we conduct the training.”
There were six Airmen trained during the course. Senior Airman Solven A. Grant, an aeromedical evacuation technician, was the sole person from the 439th who attended.
“I get to see how a unit actually runs and what people do day to day,” said Grant. “This training is hands on, and we get to see how people really do it.”
The Aeromedical Evacuation Initial Qualification course lasted 10 days and consisted of a large variety of criteria from the Aeromedical Evacuation career field.
“We are conducting the ground portion of the training,” said Smith. “Afterwards, we have a cross-country mission that we will be giving these members the opportunity to fly their first aeromedical evacuation training mission.”
The members who attended the course have already completed basic medical training in technical school and phase two training, which is essentially clinical competency at a training hospital, said Smith. They have also completed ground school, water survival training, and a Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape course.
“This course provides the final portion of ground instruction that is designed to prepare them for their qualification and future flying career,” said Smith.
The Airmen here have access to a lot of assets that other squadrons may not, said Smith. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base has aircraft availability on the flightline that allow static training on site, as well as the AMC schoolhouse that granted access to their C-130 Hercules static trainer for students.
“A lot more people could benefit from this type of training,” said Grant. “Students could really benefit. It felt real world. I love it actually, it was very informative and I’ve learned a lot.”
In the future, the 445th would potentially request a waiver again based on mission need, said Smith. It would be entirely dependent on schools availability and the waiver approval through Air Force Reserve Command.
“When we pursue this in the future, we would of course be willing to open the in-unit training up to other squadrons as we did for this class,” said Smith.