United States Department of Defense United States Department of Defense

News

American Forces Press ServiceBookmark and Share

 News Article

Transport Airframes Contribute to Medical Evacuation Mission

By Air Force Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse
Special to American Forces Press Service

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan, July 17, 2008 – Though the notion of transporting patients to medical treatment by air usually evokes images of helicopters, transport aircraft such as the C-130 Hercules, KC-135 Stratotanker and C-17 Globemaster III allow medical personnel to care for larger numbers of patients over longer distances, at higher altitudes, with a greater ability to care for the seriously injured.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Air Force Staff Sgt. Victor Lopez checks medical equipment on a C-130 Hercules transport July 8, 2008, at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. The function check is one step in the conversion of the C-130 for an aeromedical evacuation mission. The team converting the C-130 is with 455th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Flight, deployed from 375th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, Scott Air Force Base, Ill. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse, 455th Air Expeditionary Wing
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

The 455th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Flight here cares for and transports patients from all over Afghanistan to Bagram Airfield and run missions taking patients out of the combat theater to Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

The crews at the 455th EAEF are mandated to be airborne within three hours of receiving request for aeromedical evacuation, Air Force Tech. Sgt. Alexandria Young, a duty controller for the unit, said. This involves checking and loading 800 pounds of emergency equipment and converting the cargo hold of a C-130 or C-17 into a flying hospital.

Despite the daunting time frame, Young said, she has seen this complex task performed in as little as 45 minutes.

"[It] is always a team effort, working with the air terminal operations center, fuels shop, pilots and loadmasters," Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Adam Marks, a 455th EAEF member, said.

Air Force Lt. Col. Michael Gainer, 455th EAEF commander, said one of the big strengths of the aeromedical evacuation mission is to be able to cater to patients needing critical-care support.

"Depending on patient acuity,” he said, “the standard crew of nurses and EMT trained aeromedical technicians can be augmented with a critical-care air-transport team consisting of a critical-care doctor, a critical-care nurse and a respiratory therapist. This allows patients to be moved, when required, literally direct from the operating room to the aircraft."

With the combination of Army helicopters flying wounded servicemembers from the battlefield to medical care and the Air Force’s aeromedical evacuation system picking up the process from there, he said, injured and wounded servicemembers have rapid access to the level of care they need.

(Air Force Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse serves with the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs Office.)

Contact Author

Related Sites:
Combined Joint Task Force 101
NATO International Security Assistance Force
U.S. Air Forces Central

Click photo for screen-resolution imageAir Force Capt. Matthew Rist hooks up oxygen in a C-130 Hercules transport July 8, 2008, at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. Rist, a member of 455th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Flight, prepared the medical supplies during the C-130's conversion for an aeromedical evacuation mission. The team is deployed from 375th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse, 455th Air Expeditionary Wing   
Download screen-resolution   
Download high-resolution


Click photo for screen-resolution imageAn Air National Guard C-130 Hercules from Baltimore sits on the tarmac July 8, 2008, at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. Members of 455th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Flight work to quickly convert the aircraft for an aeromedical evacuation mission. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse, 455th Air Expeditionary Wing   
Download screen-resolution   
Download high-resolution


Click photo for screen-resolution imageAir Force Staff Sgt. Elliot Dozier secures tie-downs to a frame on a C-130 Hercules transport July 8, 2008, at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. The stretcher was the final piece of equipment needed to convert the C-130 for aeromedical evacuation operations. Elliot is deployed to 455th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Flight from 375th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse, 455th Air Expeditionary Wing   
Download screen-resolution   
Download high-resolution


Click photo for screen-resolution imageAir Force Staff Sgt. Elliot Dozier (left) and Air Force Capt. Matthew Rist look up information on a personal digital assistant inside a C-130 Hercules transport July 8, 2008, at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. Dozier and Rist are deployed to the 455th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Flight from 375th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse, 455th Air Expeditionary Wing  
Download screen-resolution   
Download high-resolution



Top Features

spacer

DEFENSE IMAGERY

spacer
spacer

Additional Links

Stay Connected