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NEWS | Feb. 8, 2017

IED response exercise boosts med wing’s readiness

By Staff Sgt. Kevin Iinuma 59th Medical Wing Public Affairs

Warrior medics from the 59th Medical Wing tested their ability to provide aid to the wounded during a mass casualty exercise Jan. 25 at the Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland parade grounds.


The scenario involved wing personnel treating nearly 40 role players with a variety of simulated injuries that may be caused by detonating an improvised explosive device.


“It tested our clinical and field response teams, as well as communication efficiency between wing personnel and the medical control center,” said Bryan Richardson, 59th MDW inspection team manager.


Under a new standardized plan, the wing conducts training exercises on the last Wednesday of every month, ensuring Airmen are ready to respond to any scenario. The new standardized training initiative doubles the wing’s training time, giving medics critical emergency response training every month, according to Lt. Col. Jonathan Bergmann, 59th Medical Readiness Flight commander.


 “Wing training days are an important part of the wing calendar. They ensure our Airmen have the skills needed to provide the best patient care and to succeed in a deployed environment,” Bergmann said.


Getting out of a clinic and into the field helps Airmen practice and hone skills they might not use every day, said Airman 1st Class Joshua Egler, a 59th MDW aerospace medicine technician.


“This was my third time participating in an exercise; they all have their challenges but I was able to use my training to respond (to the IED attack),” he explained.


Training is especially important because of the medical wing’s readiness mission. Sending medics downrange without the proper training can cost lives, said 2nd Lt. David Callejas, 59th Medical Readiness deputy flight commander.


“(Training) gives us the opportunity to focus on how we would react to scenarios and disasters,” said Callejas. “It (becomes) second nature, where we know exactly what to do and when to do it.”