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101206-N-6541W-005 KABUL, Afghanistan - Gen. Darwan, Commanding General of the Afghan Air Force presents a certificate to a newly graduated flight medic in the Afghan Air Force at the Afghan Air Force Base on Kabul International Airport, Dec. 6. This is the first medical course to be instructed by an Afghan Air Force flight medic instructor. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jared Walker/ RELEASED).
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Flight Medic Academy Course Graduation

Posted 12/6/2010   Updated 12/6/2010 Email story   Print story


by MC3 Jared E. Walker
438th AEW PA

12/6/2010 - KABUL, Afghanistan -- Seven Afghan Air Force medic students graduated from the Flight Medic Academy at Afghan Air Force Base on the Kabul International Airport, Dec 6. This was the first course to be instructed at the Kabul Air Wing by the AAF flight medic instructor.

"I am very happy and proud of my certification as a flight medic and ready to serve the country of Afghanistan. I can support the MEDEVACs and my country now. I am now able to bring patients from other provinces, treat them while on the helicopters and bring them to hospitals throughout the country. I really love my job," said Sgt. Kareem Hamrez, flight medic in the Afghan Air Force.

To be enrolled in the program, the students first had to be hand-selected by the Kabul Wing Clinic Commander after satisfactorily completing the eight weeks of Afghan National Army Office of the Surgeon General Combat Medic Training course.

The course was developed by the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, Task Force KNIGHTHAWK DUSTOFF and the NATO Air Training Command - Afghanistan flight nurse and medic advisors to be taught by DUSTOFF medics at Bagram, Afghanistan. The courses started in March 2010 and were conducted through September 2010. During this time period, eight AAF flight medics and one flight medic instructor from multiple locations across the country graduated.

The flight medic/MEDEVAC program is one of the most instrumental steps in the Afghan National Security Forces taking over responsibility for the medical care of not only their personnel, but also of the people of Afghanistan. While Coalition forces maintain the medical training facilities in-country, they treat hundreds of Afghans ranging from ANSF, civilians and even children on a daily basis.

The problem that remains when treating Afghans in these facilities is the ability to transfer them to facilities in their own healthcare system and to release them back to their homes. Oftentimes, accidents or incidents arise that bring the patient far from their home via coalition aircraft to be stabilized and treated at selected facility. There are not many mechanisms in place to transport them back once they are discharged. Most patients do not own vehicles nor do they have them available for use.

Capt. Cassie Ayott, NATC-A Flight Nurse advisor explained, "The ability of a nation to adequately treat and care for its people is monumental. What this course is accomplishing in training the flight medics of Afghanistan, is establishing the capability to bring the medical treatment to the patient via rotary wing aircraft."

After the patient has been reached, they must be stabilized for MEDEVAC transportation to a facility. Once the patient is able to be transferred to a more permanent location, the flight medics can transport them via fixed wing while continuing to oversee their medical care in-flight.

"For both the country of Afghanistan and Coalition forces, this is the key to Afghan independence," explained Ayott.

After their graduation these flight medics will stay in Kabul, but soon as the detachments of Mazar-e-Sharif and Jalalabad and Shindand Air Base become more operational, they will find themselves in different regions around country.

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