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Published:June 22nd, 2006 08:25 EST
Airmen, Soldiers polish skills at Golden Medic by Master Sgt. Al Eakle

Airmen, Soldiers polish skills at Golden Medic by Master Sgt. Al Eakle

By SOP newswire

6/21/2006 - AUGUSTA, Ga. (AFPN) -- Air Force reservists from around the country deployed here June 10 to 19 to participate in the Army Reserve's largest medical exercise, Golden Medic 2006.

About 200 Airmen set up a base at the city's regional airport. At nearby Fort Gordon, nearly 2,000 Soldiers took part in the exercise.

More than half of the Airmen at Golden Medic have deployed for operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

"Air Force Reserve Command has participated in this exercise from the beginning," said Chief Master Sgt. Tim Pittman, a key exercise planner from Headquarters AFRC at Robins Air Force Base, Ga.

"We started with a handful of people and continue to expand participation every year," the chief said.

Set in a Southwest Asia scenario, Golden Medic tests the ability of Air Force and Army medical and support units to evacuate casualties from the battlefield to a hospital outside the region.

At the airport, Airmen set up a tanker airlift control facility. The facility served as a mini-base operations and controlled the flow of military aircraft flying into and out of the airport. Ambulances and helicopters moved the patients from the front lines to the rear through a series of Army medical facilities.

At the forward edge of the battlefield was the Air Force's mobile aeromedical staging facility, where patients enter the aeromedical evacuation system.

After assessing their medical conditions, medics moved patients from the staging area to a C-130 Hercules. An aircrew from the 911th Airlift Wing at Pittsburgh International Airport Air Reserve Station, Pa., provided the airlift.

After the C-130 landed, patients went to a contingency aeromedical staging facility. Their medical conditions were re-assessed, and medical teams loaded them onto a C-17 Globemaster III for transport out of the theater. An aircrew from the 452nd Air Mobility Wing at March Air Reserve Base, Calif., flew the mission.

"We have to practice interfacing with our sister services so we can provide the best medical care in a wartime environment," said Lt. Col. Mike Dankosky, exercise director for the Air Force portion of Golden Medic.

"Global Medic provides us an excellent opportunity to do just that and gain hands-on training in a joint contingency environment," he said.

Today's military medical care system offers a 97-percent survival rate after casualties make it from the battlefield to the theater hospital, the colonel said.

"The training Army field medics receive today, coupled with advances in today's aeromedical evacuation system and en route support care, has increased casualty survival tremendously," Colonel Dankosky said.

(Courtesy of Air Force Reserve Command News Service)

Source: USAF