News: IRT returns to Alabama, help Selma residents
SELMA, Ala. - Alabama Care 2012 is an Air National Guard led IRT multiservice mission comprised of active duty, reserve, and National Guard members from Army, Navy and Air Force components focusing on deployment and readiness training in a joint-service environment while simultaneously providing free medical, dental, ophthalmology services to the community.
Alabama Care provided medical assistance to more than 30,000 Alabama residents in May, but the medical demands of the community were so great that the military returned to Selma. They are expected to assist more than 10,000 residents who are in need of medical services this week.
“We were not able to assist all the patients we would have liked in May, therefore, we made arrangements to come back to Selma to aid as many residents as possible,” said Lt. Col. Michael Shiels, IRT program manager.
Military members perform in a multiservice environment conducting real-world readiness, medical training and preparing for wartime missions. Additionally, they support the needs of America's underserved communities like Selma.
“It has been a lot of fun, but very rewarding working with different branches,” said Lt. Cmdr. Bryan Schmidt, Navy Reserve, Camp Lejeune, N.C. “You may not always recognize their uniform or rank, but it is apparent; this is one country with four different components of the military, working together for a common cause.”
Alabama Care 2012 is a health care initiative, which is a premier world-class field training event for all the service members who participate. The mission provides significant, valuable and realistic training in a deployed environment helping to shape future leaders.
“IRT is great training because you can become more proficient by learning from other branches,” said Airman 1st Class Nicole Holland, 141st Medical Group, Washington Air National Guard, Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash.
The IRT goal is for military members to focus on training their junior enlisted, allowing them to gain knowledge and enhance their skills in a deployed environment. IRT missions provide an opportunity for members to train within their career field. Additionally, they work with real patients and special equipment to assist the community with free medical care.
“I’ve enjoyed working with the Air Force here. I like the motivation of the young enlisted airman,” Schmidt said. “It is empowering and motivating for our corpsmen. It’s a great idea to merge the branches together for one mission.”
Incidental to military readiness training, Alabama Care 2012 provides medical, dental, and optometric care to assist local health and municipal authorities in addressing underserved residents in the community while increasing the quality of life.
“IRT is a win-win for everyone, not just the military, but the community benefits as well,” said Shiels. “Since our visit in May, the clinic in Selma has undergone major renovations. There is now central air, bathrooms, better lighting and running water, which is a lot more comfortable for patients and military members can be more efficient, helping residents.”
Date Posted:08.11.2012 15:09
Location:SELMA, AL, US
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