McConnell, Scott team up for aeromedical evacuation training

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Zachary Willis
  • 22 Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Airmen from Team McConnell's 349th Air Refueling Squadron and 22nd Medical Group trained alongside the 375th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron from Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, during exercise Lethal Pride March 29, 2023.

The 375th AES trained the 22nd MDG on litter carries and the overview of their capabilities before taking off to perform mid-air care on simulated patients. 

"They quickly set up realistic scenarios in the cargo section of the aircraft and over the course of four sorties, they taught their craft in small groups cycling through multiple stations," said Maj. Kyle Haydel, 349th ARS pilot. "The also stopped at McConnell AFB for two hours and instructed a large number of 22nd MDG personnel through combat/aerial transport patient care."

The AE mission is to provide time-sensitive, mission-critical en-route care to patients to and between medical treatment facilities. 

"Aeromedical evacuation is one of three primary missions of the KC-46A," said Haydel. "Coordinating with the AE team and integrating AE into the Lethal Pride exercise enhanced crew knowledge of the AE mission, prepared aircrew and medics for real world scenarios, and enabled multi-capable teams to accomplish the Agile Combat Employment concept."

Care is provided by Air Force medics specially trained to operate within the global AE system.

"Aeromedical evacuation is a flying hospital; we pick up patients from all across the globe and take them home," said Tech. Sgt. Logan Hallman, 375th AES flight instructor. "I have moved patients from South Korea, Germany, and Iraq all the way back to the United States."

Members from the 375th AES complemented McConnell's newest aircraft's improvements to a team of aeromedical evacuation Airmen.

"The best part of the KC-46 is that it is a complete improvement on the KC-135," said Hallman. "The KC-46 makes it easier for us to configure, making it easier for us to take care of patients and makes our overall job easier."

The KC-46A can accommodate a mixed load of passengers, aeromedical evacuation and cargo capabilities.

"The presence of AE enhanced the exercise by allowing aircrew to realistically simulate aeromedical evacuation scenarios while engaged with a near-peer threat," said Haydel. “We could simulate working out of austere locations, hub and spoke operations, and degraded communications while accomplishing the high-priority mission of treating and caring for wounded Airmen."

The AE Airmen demonstrated what they bring to the fight by showcasing that they can be just as effective in the air as on the ground.

 "Two Nurses and three technicians from the 375th AES can board any opportune aircraft that the U.S. has and provide the same care that they could on the ground in a hospital", said Hallman.

Aeromedical evacuation was just one aspect of exercise Lethal Pride, training McConnell’s Airmen to remain at the forefront of deterring aggression and defending the nation.