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Scott AFB, Pope Field team up for C-17 aeromedical training

The 375th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, from Scott Air Force Base, Ill., teamed up with the 43rd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, from Pope Field, North Carolina, for a collaborative Air Mobility Command training initiative. Both teams were flown to Pope Field in a Boeing C-17 Globemaster III by the 6th Airlift Squadron, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, for a weeklong exercise. (U.S. Air Force photos/Airman 1st Class Melissa Estevez)

The 375th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, from Scott Air Force Base, Ill., teamed up with the 43rd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, from Pope Field, North Carolina, for a collaborative Air Mobility Command training initiative. Both teams were flown to Pope Field in a Boeing C-17 Globemaster III by the 6th Airlift Squadron, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, for a weeklong exercise. (U.S. Air Force photos/Airman 1st Class Melissa Estevez)

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. (AFNS) -- Aeromedical evacuation experts from Scott Air Force Base recently teamed up with AE crews from Pope Field, North Carolina, for a collaborative Air Mobility Command training initiative Nov. 16-20.

Both teams were flown to Pope Field in a C-17 Globemaster III by the 6th Airlift Squadron, during the weeklong exercise at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey.

There were 41 medical personnel who flew between Scott and Pope, which gave each AE team the opportunity to maximize training on that aircraft without having to navigate around cargo.

"The 6th AS has not only allowed us a week of training on their C-17, but also negated any travel costs for the 43rd and 375th (Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron) crews by flying between each location,” said Maj. John Hein, the 375th AES Operations Flight commander. “The 6th AS is acquiring training time as well, so it's a win for all three of us.”

Scott's AE crew trains, mobilizes and deploys nearly 150 members each year to support aeromedical evacuation missions aboard C-21As, C-17As, C-130E/H/J Hercules, and KC-135R Stratotankers.

"First, we set up the litter configuration, oxygen and electrical lines, and then verified we had adequate emergency oxygen systems for our patients in the event we had an in-flight aircraft emergency," said Capt. Nicole Ward, a 375th AES flight nurse.

Once all the equipment and personnel were set up, multiple challenging scenarios were presented to the crews to include patient problems both with mannequins and co-workers acting as patients, as well as dealing with simulated in-flight aircraft emergencies.

"Combined training provided both squadrons invaluable experience on the C-17, a plane that's not organic to Pope Field or Scott AFB,” Hein said. “The ability to get in-garrison aeromedical evacuation training on the C-17 is invaluable because it's one of the primary aircraft we conduct patient movement on while deployed."

McGuire's Capt. Stephen Ching, a C-17 pilot, explained that the size and versatility of the aircraft allows plenty of room for people and equipment which makes it an exceptional aircraft for aeromedical training.

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