FORT HOOD, Texas – Louisiana National Guard Soldiers with the 1-244th Assault Helicopter Battalion and Detachment 1, D Company, 2-151st Aviation Regiment, provided aerial medevac support for a joint emergency medicine exercise June 6-10.
This exercise included medical and military support personnel from the Tri-Service Military Residency Program from Army, Navy and Air Force medical teams, including Active Duty, National Guard and Reserves. More than 2,000 service members from 70 units representing over 60 medical specialties and multinational medical personnel participated.
The LANG State Aviation Command sent three helicopters and crews, including two flight medics, to Fort Hood to participate in this year’s JEMX.
The aeromedical care support scenario included a 9-line call for aerial evacuation of a simulated casualty to the forward resuscitative surgical team location.
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Ryan Wilson with the 1-244th, an experienced medevac combat pilot veteran, said working with the team at the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center (CRDAMC) and flight medics for the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment allowed his crews to be certified on their mission essential task list to stay current as Army aviators.
“This training for the medical learners may be the first time that some of them are around a military helicopter, so teaching the proper procedures to load and unload litters with casualties is essential to mission success,” Wilson said. “Providing the most realistic training possible for the participants will help them to make split-second decisions that could save a life.”
The aerial training began June 7 with 150 medical learners practicing cold and hot load litters onto a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter and an LUH-72 Lakota helicopter, completing 35 iterations of medical evacuations over the next two days.
“Without the ability to exercise real-time helicopter evacuations directly from the point of injury, it would not have the same caliber of training for our learners,” said Officer in Charge Lt. Col. Guyon Hill, an emergency physician at CRDAMC. “The professionalism of the aircrew to train this many personnel safely and provide realistic combat simulation is invaluable.”
One of the medics was 20-year veteran Sgt. 1st Class Kurt Hogan, flight medic Detachment 1, D Company, 2-151 Aviation Regiment.
“You never know when you’re going to be needed,” Hogan said. “When it’s thrown upon you, it really brings out your training and forces you to act in the moment to better the care for the patient. We don’t know when, where, how, or whether you’re in uniform or out of uniform.”