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Afghan Airmen and NATO Air Training Command - Afghanistan advisors worked as one to transfer a patient from Bagram Airfield during a reverse aeromedical evacuation mission to Forward Operating Base Bostic in Konar Province, Afghanistan on Sept 27, 2010.
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Flying the Wounded Home

Posted 10/2/2010   Updated 10/5/2010 Email story   Print story

    


by Tech Sgt. Anthony Iusi
438th AEW PA


10/2/2010 - KABUL, Afghanistan -- Afghan Airmen and NATO Air Training Command - Afghanistan advisors worked as one to transfer a patient from Bagram Airfield during a reverse aeromedical evacuation mission to Forward Operating Base Bostic in Konar Province, Afghanistan on Sept 27, 2010.

A reverse medical evacuation takes a patient that has received care from local hospitals and returns them to their homes. While this is not a new mission for the Afghan flight medics and their NATC-A advisors, the continued training of Afghan Air Force members by the 438th Air Expeditionary Advisor Squadron helps this partnership continue to grow.

"The purpose of this mission not only helped a nine-year old boy return home, but also helped with teaching the Afghan medic what to watch out for during flight. Things like how to take care of the patient and how to watch out for physical signs of flight stress," said TSgt. Derek Odom, 438 AEAS flight medic advisor.

Members from Bagram's medical hospital transported the patient on a gurney to the airfield ramp once the crew of the Mi-17 Hip transport helicopter arrived from Kabul and turned him over to the Afghan medic and Airmen advisor who then evaluated the patient to ensure he was in a condition fit for flight. The medics then transferred the patient to the helicopter and the Afghan medic continued to treat the patient under close watch by his Airman mentor.

"He did a pretty good job," said Tech. Sgt. Odom. "He pretty much knows what's going on with the patient and knew how to take care of him. We just need to get into a little bit deeper into patient care during flight and teach him what signs and symptoms to watch out for and how he is going to react to those with his gear."

After the patient was loaded, he was transported to Camp Bostic, where he will receive local care before being released home to his family.

"There are several reasons why this type of mission is important," said Capt. Sean Masters, 438 AEAS Mi-17 advisor. "First off, the counter insurgency that we're currently fighting shows the people of Afghanistan that the U.S. government and the Islamic government of Afghanistan actually care about them. It also shows that we're providing medical attention for their people and transporting them to their homes shows them that we are travelling around all over this country in difficult areas, so we can get them there and back."

This type of mission is currently done on a normal basis which helps the efforts to establish a better future for Afghanistan.

"It's really an enjoyable mission working with the Afghan Air Force," said Capt. Masters. "Helping with the locals shows the Afghans that we're here to help them."



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