News: One team, one fight
Story by Tech. Sgt. Joshua Allmaras
BOISE, Idaho - 124th Medical Group (MDG) specialists integrated their strengths with Army National Guard medical evacuation subject matter experts by training with Idaho Army National Guard Detachment 1, Company D, 1-112 Security and Support Battalion.
This ‘One team, one fight’ joint training venture (during the May 2014 unit training assembly) allowed members from both the Air and Army Guard to learn how to operate effectively and efficiently together.
Detachment 1 operates the Eurocopter UH-72A Lakota. This airframe provides the state of Idaho with medical evacuation and hoisting capabilities. This is an essential function of the National Guard in supporting the state during a disaster. The Lakotas at Gowen Field are equipped with a hoist, room for two stretchers, and one Army medic. This allows them flexibility in conducting their medical evacuation mission.
All members from the MDG were able to participate in the training evolution according to Chief Master Sgt. Jerrod Taylor, 124th MDG Superintendent.
“The training was extremely valuable for all of our members. This isn’t doc/medic centric training. This training utilizes all of our personnel resources.
“The opportunity for a medical admin or dental tech to get out and participate in this type of training is what really helps them buy into our mission and lets them know that they are needed beyond just our routine clinical PHA driven UTA,” Taylor said.
Working with other branches of the Guard can poise its own hazards. Each branch has its own rules and regulations. They also have their own language, which can be a barrier to any joint mission. By conducting the training in a controlled environment both the Air and Army Guard can iron out some of these issues.
Taylor said, “If a disaster hits Idaho or our region we will be working very closely with the Army. We each bring skill sets and especially personnel assets that support the response capability.”
Not only does this joint training allow for ironing out the communication aspect of a medical emergency response, it exposes members to the loud and nerve racking environment of working around a helicopter.
This realistic training will better prepare the Guardsmen for a medical emergency response. Staff Sgt. Vernon Mullins, 124th MDG Immunizations NCOIC, said, “This training provided opportunities to understand safe and proper patient loading techniques along with safety in approaching helos and proper hand signals/communication methods when approaching a loud operational aircraft.”
This isn’t the last time that this type of training will occur. “This is just the beginning, there are future exercises planned with our Army counterparts,” said Taylor. “Being a Guardsman, whether for the Army or Air Guard we are in this together. We can only accomplish our job if we embrace the concept of “one team, one fight.”