AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar— Liaison officers with the 379th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron successfully completed their first mission advising over 120 medical personnel from both the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army on aeromedical operations and patient preparation, March 22 to 29.
The operation was the first of its kind, supporting joint forces in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. In just one week, liaison officers Capt. Christopher Novack and Capt. Jonathan Reid provided operational and procedural training at two forward deployed combat support hospitals and one expeditionary medical unit.
“This was an opportunity to create relationships with other branches of service to help ensure the safe and timely movement of patients to higher levels of care, both within the area of responsibility and back to the U.S.,” said Novack.
Reid explained that as 379th EAES liaison officers, they focus on training that stresses to providers and patient administration staff the proper actions required to submit patient requests, patient clinical procedures, and what types of patient support equipment are needed once they are validated for a flight.
“One of the most important missions in the military is aeromedical evacuation; transporting an injured military member from the point of injury to a higher level of care,” said Reid. “If we can support others in our career field by sharing our knowledge and experiences, and help ensure their patients can be moved in a timely manner to continue that care, then we will.”
The training included an overview of the Air Force aeromedical evacuation system, capabilities of certain aircrews, and information about critical care transport teams in regards to patient movement, types of airframes used, timelines and guidance on patient movement precedence, and proper procedures to load and unload patients on litters from the aircraft.
“We’ve worked closely with multiple organizations at different levels including local, joint and coalition to coordinate this unique mission, which took over four months to become a reality,” said Novack.
Reid explained that their hope is to continue pursuing these types of missions in the future, creating sustainable procedures across the theater.
“It is always an honor to serve my fellow brothers and sisters in arms,” said Novack. “Being instrumental in the continuity of care is one of the most rewarding duties that I have fulfilled in the Air Force.”