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NEWS | July 19, 2015

Soldiers, Airmen work together to save lives

By Story by Sgt. Elizabeth Raney 63rd Regional Support Command

FORT MCCOY, Wis. - When injuries occur on the battlefield, medical staff is always on standby to receive patients and treat them in the most efficient way possible.

Oftentimes, multiple branches and specialties of our U.S. military work together to save the lives of their brothers and sisters in arms. This is the case during the 2015 Global Medic exercise at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, where Reserve Soldiers and Airmen on Young Army Air Field worked in tandem to provide expedient care to simulated casualties.

Global Medic, hosted by the Medical Readiness and Training Command, San Antonio, Texas, is the premier medical field-training event during the 78th Training Division’s Combat Support Training Exercise (CSTX), and the only joint accredited exercise conceived, planned and executed by Army Reserve Soldiers. 

U.S. Army Reserve 1st. Lt. Nathan Shaffer, who is currently serving as a battle captain for 24-hour medical evacuation missions being run from the airfield, and other Soldiers from the 1-214th Aviation Regiment serve as the link between casualties and medical care.

“If there is a 9-Line that needs an air asset to go out, we send out a helicopter to pick up the patient,” Shaffer said. 

From that call, a medical flight crew picks up the injured service member and delivers them to a field hospital. 

U.S. Air Force Reserve Capt. Tammy Rush, a nurse with the 59th Aeromedical Safety Squadron out of Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, said the type of field hospital they are running on Young Army Air Field is just a stopping point for the wounded. 

“Soldiers in the field, Marines in the field, Airmen in the field, they get hurt and they need to come through and they need to be treated accordingly,” Rush said. “Typically they are going to go to a hospital or a triage unit and then go to the hospital. They come to a receiving facility to receive treatment before transporting them up to their next level of care.”

U.S. Air Force Maj. John Redmon, of the 914th Aeromedical Staging Squadron, said this type of training is an important part of being ready for a real life situation. 

“Today, we had a pretend patient come in off the helicopter, 30% burns,” Redmon explained. “We evaluated the situation and the patient and found out we needed to transfer him over to the forward surgical team. We had him over there probably within 10 minutes.”

While the training being conducted on the base is primarily simulated casualties, it’s important that Army and Air Force Reserve personnel can smoothly work together when seconds count and they are making important decisions to save a life.