The US Air Force has announced that 35 Reserve Airmen from the Air Force Reserve Command’s 403rd Wing participated in a recently concluded training exercise, Patriot Warrior 2021.
The Patriot Warrior exercise involves Airmen conducting airlifts, aeromedical evacuations and mobility support drills together with joint and international partners.
The latest edition included wing members from the 36th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, 403rd Aeromedical Staging Squadron, 403rd Logistics Readiness Squadron, 815th Airlift Squadron, 803rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and 403rd Wing Public Affairs.
Around 260 Reserve Citizen Airmen and 4,000 US Army Soldiers also participated in the drills.
During the exercise, a fully operational base with mobile hospitals was established. Simulated patients were flown in on military aircraft, including a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft piloted by the 815th Airlift Squadron.
The Airmen worked to carry out command and control operations, air drops, patient care and logistics operations.
36th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron flight nurse captain Matthew Allen and First Lieutenant Jennifer Alvarez-Billinger were responsible for setting up operations on the ground.
Cpt Allen said: “We can operate anywhere a fixed-wing aircraft can go and can be anywhere in the world in 72 hours.
“In this exercise, we had many scenarios to include point-of-injury pickup, where we had to stabilise our patients.
“Picking up casualties directly from a Black Hawk helicopter, which landed right off our tail, doing rapid assessments and then loading them onto our plane in a matter of minutes is different from your typical [aeromedical evacuation] movement.
“To do this first-hand in a realistic ‘wartime’ environment is very important training.”
Cpt Allen and Lt Alvarez-Billinger said that the exercise had improved their skill sets and that they felt more prepared for their next deployment.
Earlier this month, US Air Force personnel took part in RED FLAG-Alaska, a multinational series of field training exercises.