Training Environment Serves the Community

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Kimberly Lalley
  • 514th Air Mobility Wing

More than 100 U.S. Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy Reserve service members are in east central Georgia supporting Innovative Readiness Training (ECG IRT), providing medical services in five underserved communities. IRTs are joint-service training missions which increase deployment readiness while providing key services (health care, construction, transportation, and cybersecurity) while making a difference in American communities.

Sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, this IRT is an Air Force Reserve-led multi service/component training event intended to build mutually beneficial partnerships between the U.S. Department of Defense and local communities. The mission provides service members with hands-on readiness training opportunities, while providing direct and lasting benefits to residents of each community served.

Air Force Reserve Lt. Col. Aly Eisenhardt, the officer in charge of ECG IRT 2019, made use of training opportunities from day one. Service members gathered from 31 states and Washington D.C., at Warren County High School, Warrenton, Georgia. Everyone started at the same location and were housed based on their clinic location. Eisenhardt designed the initial training to build camaraderie. She purposely filled an eight-hour day with training on the front end to set the tone, increase effectiveness and build morale.

ECG IRT 2019 supports five different locations with leadership established at each locale. There are myriad opportunities to train and flex leadership skills while perfecting one’s military specialty. Service members must maintain a constant state of readiness and, in return, their training can benefit various communities.

For some this is their first IRT, for others they eagerly return each year. Navy Reserve Capt. McAlpine is a nurse and the officer in charge at the clinic located in Louisville Academy, Louisville, Georgia. This is her first IRT but she plans to do more.

“I’ve enjoyed the people I’ve worked with,” said McAlpine. “The community appreciates us.”

Navy Reserve Petty Officer 1st Class Lisa-Marie Sasseville, a hospital corpsman dental hygienist, finds it very rewarding to train in her specialty. This is her third IRT and she finds the patients she serves here more appreciative then those she interacts with at her civilian job.

Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Jessica Dixon, an aerospace medicine technician, is a Licensed Practical Nurse and is assisting in the pharmacy at the Louisville location. She was familiar with the medications that would be dispensed. She got a pill cutter to cut doses in half for patient’s blood pressure medication. She’s working on her Bachelor of Science in nursing. Patients are educated as they leave the clinics.

From June 15 to 22, nearby east central Georgia residents can receive free dental care, health checks and eye exams.