Medical Reservists maintain readiness, enhance skillsets for COVID-19

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt Tiffany Lundberg
  • 302nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Air Force Reservists with the 34th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron participated in a training mission Apr. 6th to maintain and enhance their medical skills.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Mar. 27th authorizing the activation of the reserve force to support the COVID-19 response. Since then, medical personnel from several bases have been activated and sent to hospitals around the country.

While 34 AES reservists trained to maintain their normal skillsets of providing critical medical care to ill and injured patients, they also evaluated how their response would change if they were activated to support the COVID-19 response. 

“Today we have orthopedic injuries, or combat injuries, in our scenario,” said Lt. Col. Kimberly MacPherson, 34 AES director of operations. “But due to what is going on in the world, we are also including enhanced infection control while on the plane.”

The AES reservists volunteered to participate in the training and were provided the proper personal protection equipment to protect themselves while training. They set up a C-130H to hold their medical gear and then simulated receiving patients onto the aircraft with mannequins. Once they were in flight, the team ran through several scenarios.   

“It’s important for all the units to maintain mission readiness and make sure our Airmen are ready to respond to a tasking in case we get a request,” said Col. James DeVere, 302nd Airlift Wing commander. “That is why we are continuing to train in AE and our normal C-130 airland mission to answer the call when the American people need us.”