US forces practice medevac training

US forces practice medevac training

by Senior Airman Ashley L. Gardner, 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Kunsan Air Base

KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea – U.S. Air Force and Army medical personnel participated in a medical evacuation exercise here as a part of the VIGILANT ACE 16 peninsula wide exercise. The medical evacuation exercise, or medevac, tested the 8th Medical Groups ability to safely and quickly get injured personnel the help they need through air transportation provided by the Army.

The role of Kunsan AB was to work with the patients from the base. If their injuries are beyond Kunsan’s care, injured individuals would receive air transportation to Osan AB. From there they would eventually get them to a more thorough care location at Misawa AFB or back to the states if the injuries are severe.

“Kunsan has a very small clinic”, said Master Sgt. Daniel Johnson. “We don’t have a bunch of the specialty services that you would find at a bigger facility with a larger hospital.”

More than 16,000 U.S. personnel participated in the VIGILANT ACE 16, one of the largest flying exercises held on the Korean Peninsula, Nov. 1 to 9. The medevac enhanced interoperability between Air Force and Army personnel and increased their combat effectiveness by testing their knowledge in skills they have trained for as if it were a real world mission.

“This is our first time doing a live mission,” said Johnson. “I think that everything went very well with communication and the patient had no problems. It went very smoothly.”

While conducting live training scenarios, effective communication plays an important role in ensuring patients are rescued in a timely manner.

 “With what we do right now lives matter,” said Chief Master Sgt. Paul Thomas, 8th Medical Group superintendent. “Practice like you play; so if you are not being serious and you are not doing it right and you get forward deployed, it’s too late to practice then. People count on you to save their lives.”

Using the teamwork between the two forces, they executed the mission getting the patient where he needed to be in time to live to fight another day.

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