Aeromedical evac teams face off at Rodeo 2009
By Senior Airman Carrie M. Peasinger, Rodeo 2009 Public Affairs
/ Published July 22, 2009
MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. (AFNS) -- Air Mobility Command's Rodeo 2009 continued July 20 here with numerous events including the aeromedical evacuation competition which tested the skills of aeromedical evacuation crews from around the world.
The aeromedical evacuation events, which range from patient-offload tests to a timed scenario that calls for preparing a C-17 Globemaster III for an aeromedical evacuation flight, are part of the overall Rodeo goal to provide U.S. and international mobility air force partners the chance to further develop skills needed in today's fight.
"These competitions allow aeromedical evacuation Airmen to improve on our mobility operations," said Senior Master Sgt. Rich Wallace, an umpire for the aeromedical evacuation events. "They are able to hone their skills and practice on aircraft universally trained on."
"Timing for contingency flight begins on the ground with initial preparations and the crew being briefed," said Maj. Melissa Smith, the chief umpire for aeromedical evacuation events. "Next, the teams prepare medical equipment during pre-flight operations, and when the first member steps on the aircraft to configure for patients."
The team then received the patient report and moved about 12 to 16 patients onto the aircraft. Those patients simulated conditions based on what is seen in deployed war areas such as traumatic brain injury and amputations. The aeromedical evacuation event ended once the team landed.
Rodeo also brings together international partners. Sergeant Wallace, who's returning to Rodeo for a second time, looked forward to working with the international partners because they are able to benefit from sharing information.
"Americans may find themselves on a rescue mission on one of the international teams' aircrafts, so they can share with us how they do an aeromedical evacuation on their aircraft," he said. "The international teams are highly trained, and this event also gives us the chance to show them how we operate and give them some hands-on training based on our tactics and procedures, as well."
Before anyone wins a trophy, there is a lot to assess, said Sergeant Wallace. "Each team will start off with the total number of points possible and points are deducted based on whether or not teams followed the correct procedures."
After all deductions, the team with the highest score wins. Three trophies will be awarded, including awards for best flight crew, best configuration crew and overall performance.