Fort McCoy News Aug. 26, 2016

Exercise provides contingency deployment training

BY STAFF SGT. ADAM BORGMAN
927th Air Refueling Wing

Airmen with the Air Force Reserve Command participated in the Patriot Warrior exercise in August at Fort McCoy.

Reservists in multiple Air Force specialty codes (AFSC) came together to support the mission of aeromedical evacuation.

Airmen inventory medical equipment at their operating area at Young Air Assault Strip.
Airmen inventory medical equipment at their operating area at Young
Air Assault Strip.
Photos by Airman 1st Class Christopher Dyer


Airmen practice transferring patients from a bus to a C-130 Hercules as part of a simulated aeromedical evacuation at Young Air Assault Strip on Fort McCoy’s South Post during the Patriot Warrior exercise.
Airmen practice transferring patients from a bus to a C-130 Hercules
as part of a simulated aeromedical evacuation at Young Air Assault
Strip on Fort McCoy's South Post during the Patriot Warrior exercise.

Photos by Airman 1st Class Christopher Dyer

Patriot Warrior is the premier contingency deployment training for the Air Force Reserve. It is designed to demonstrate training that starts with bare base buildup and quickly allows full operational aeromedical evacuation capabilities.

For many, participating in an exercise as high tempo as Patriot Warrior is a new challenge.

"This is a great opportunity for the Airmen assigned to the Air Force Reserve who don't get the opportunity to have hands-on experience to apply their skills," said Lt. Col. Adam Mclean, commander of the 63rd Air Refueling Squadron, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.

"Exercises like this allow us to apply our skills, not just within the AE (aeromedical evacuation) AFSC, but all of those who can ultimately support the mission down range."

To ensure in the success of the training and increase the reality of the deployed state of mind, Patriot Warrior leaders deployed Airmen of all experience levels to get a feel for what they can expect.

"I have not been deployed yet as a first sergeant yet," said Air Force Master Sgt. Abel Martinez, 433rd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, Lackland Air Force Base. "Being from the AE career field, I understand the career, but now as a first sergeant, I get to experience things in a different way that will assist me when I do deploy next.

"My first objective is to get to know the Airmen in the unit, know who they are, what they do, and understand where they come from. If I know this information, I can help keep the pulse of the unit going," Martinez said.

The two-week training started out as a bare base and in just days was turned into a fully functioning base able to accept patients from forward operating bases and get them on an aircraft outfitted with patient litters they refer to as a mobile hospital. There were many AFSCs participating in Patriot Warrior all in support of completing the areomedical training.