FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska - Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, teamed up with the 1st Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment to conduct air medical evacuation training at Fort Wainwright Alaska’s Combined Arms Collective Training Facility Jan. 14-16.
About 120 soldiers from the 1-5th were trained on MEDEVAC procedures and received hands-on experience with the help of pilots from the 1-52nd.
Assistant operations officer for the 1-5th, 2nd Lt. Christopher Dubois, coordinated and oversaw the training.
“There was the classroom portion where the soldiers practiced sending up a nine-line MEDEVAC request, packaging the casualty, and loading procedures,” he said.
After rehearsing in the classroom the students went outside and put their newly acquired skills to work loading a “casualty” (actually a medical-grade training dummy) onto the MEDEVAC helicopters.
“This is some great training,” Sgt. Ramondo Walker, a team leader in B Company, 1-5th said. “A lot of these guys have never done this before and getting the experience - especially in the arctic conditions we’re practicing in - is a great opportunity.”
“This will prepare these soldiers for the possibility that they’ll do this in combat, 1st Lt. Bryce Roman, a section leader in 1-52nd Aviation Regiment said. “They will have already worked with aviation and understand how the process works, why things work, and why they’re done the way they’re done. “
The training was as valuable for the pilots of the 1-52nd Aviation Regiment as it was for the soldiers of the 1-5th, according to Roman.
“We get to practice getting the call,” he said. “I’ve never done this before, so I get the practice of experiencing the operation from the pilot’s perspective. It’s important that we all get this procedure down before it’s a life or death situation.”
“This is a good refresher of the basic procedures for those of us who have done this before and essential training for the newer soldiers,” Walker said.
Ultimately, it will be the medics and their patients who benefit most from every soldier available being experienced in the MEDEVAC process, according to Spc. Lucas Weaver, senior evacuation medic for A Company, 1-5th.
“Getting these guys proficient in the operation of a casualty evacuation and understanding how it works will really help us out,” he said. “When they can take over and handle the other tasks it lets us focus on treating the patient.”