KC-135 Supports Multiple Missions in Germany, Netherlands

Aeromedical Evacuation technicians with the 86th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron assigned to Ramstein Air Base, sharpened their skills during a routine refueling flight in a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 93rd Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, June 27, over the skies of Germany and the Netherlands.

The 86th AES provides critical medical care to forces operating throughout Europe and Africa. They are responsible for treating patients for a variety of illnesses and injuries, using assessment skills during contingency operations to save life and limb, and providing essential care to patients of all ages.

"We are that segment between transporting patients from one place to another while still giving them the care they need," said Capt. Jordan Klein, 86th AES flight nurse. "If we couldn't be there for them, they are more likely to undergo harm that could have been otherwise preventable."

The mission of the Air Force Aeromedical Evacuation system is to provide time-sensitive, mission-critical care to patients being transported between medical treatment facilities. AE forces operate anywhere air operations occur in support of the full range of military operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster response.

"In-flight training ultimately makes us more prepared for future fights and anything we may see or experience with a patient," Klein said. "We don't always have the ability to fly on the KC-135, so building a cohesive working relationship with the 93rd EARS is definitely important to us."

AE crews execute patient movement primarily on Mobility Air Forces aircraft, including the C-130J Super Hercules, C-21 Learjet, C-17 Globemaster III and the KC-135.

"If we are the only jet available to medically evacuate a patient, our job as boom operators gain more responsibility," said Senior Airman Carson Wilberg, 93rd EARS boom operator. "Everything from the beginning of the flight to the end becomes a collaborative effort, so it's really important for us to understand what roles we can fill and how we can help our AE guys out."

The KC-135 flew above northeastern Europe to conduct routine refueling for Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16s and F-35s from Volkel Air Base, Netherlands. Together, the flight enabled the training missions of the 86th AES, 93rd EARS and the RNLAF.

"As the aircraft commander, I'm in charge of essentially the wellbeing of the jet and everyone on board," said Capt. Nathan Armes, 93rd EARS KC-135 pilot. " It's my job to maintain a smooth, steady aircraft so the medical team can accomplish their mission as we accomplish ours."

When the boom operators weren't refueling aircraft, the 86th AES team was busy practicing various medical scenarios they may encounter, such as mental health care, musculoskeletal injuries, anaphylactic reactions and other patient emergencies.

"Running through these training scenarios helps us learn what to do during potentially stressful situations," said Senior Airman Zachary Vedder, 86th AES aerospace medical technician. "Being able to manage stress is really important because we need to be able to make quick decisions to ultimately save a life. "

U.S. Air Force Logo
/U.S. Air Force Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) might be of the point-in-time nature, and edited for clarity, style and length. Mirage.News does not take institutional positions or sides, and all views, positions, and conclusions expressed herein are solely those of the author(s).View in full here.