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    Air Force advisory squadron medics strengthen capabilities of allies, partners

    571st Mobility Support Advisory Squadron, JTF-Bravo train together on lifesaving skills with Honduran military

    Courtesy Photo | A team with the 571st Mobility Support Advisory Squadron, based out of Travis Air...... read more read more



    Story by Kelley Schlitt 

    Air Force Medical Service   

    Medical capabilities within mobility support advisory squadrons are foundational to security cooperation activities that strengthen national defense and strategic relationships.

    An MSAS has 60 air advisors, including a flight nurse, an independent duty medical technician, and an aeromedical evacuation technician.

    Joint work by medics in the 818th MSAS at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, and the 571st MSAS at Travis Air Force Base, California, are bolstering an increasing network of allies and partners in U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Southern Command by providing custom training related to global air mobility.

    Air advisors work collaboratively with host nation counterparts to identify target areas for capability and capacity building. They then develop tailored courses to meet established goals.

    “Aeromedical evacuation and patient movement are necessary to conduct any kind of contingency or emergency response operation,” said Maj. Chantel Armstrong, 571st MSAS air advisor. “Partner nations apply these capabilities to a range of activities, including peacekeeping operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.”

    By supporting the medical aspect of security cooperation, medical MSAS air advisors contribute to the broader mission of Department of Defense global health engagement. Medical security cooperation opens up new doors, according to Maj. Malick Traore, a former MSAS air advisor and International Health Specialist at U.S. Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa, currently serving as the Global Health Engagement Branch Chief of U.S. Central Command.

    “These activities focus on improving life-saving care for military personnel and increasing the ability to work hand-in-hand with the United States and other regional partners,” said Traore. “Offering this type of cooperation can create space for new relationships that otherwise may not exist.”

    Traore recalls one of his first missions as an MSAS air advisor to Rwanda to help the country develop an aeromedical patient movement capability.

    “Because the Rwandans were planning to get air assets, we tailored the proposal using a collaborative approach that included medical training, biomedical engineering, aircraft maintenance, and logistics air advisors to maximize utilization potential of these aircraft,” said Traore. “This opened the floodgate for a range of cooperation between Rwanda and the United States, including the African Peacekeeping Rapid Response Partnership, a multi-year security cooperation initiative."

    The expansion with Rwandan counterparts served to build sustainable capabilities, which is a priority for advisors when developing security cooperation.

    According to Master Sgt. Arthur Tewasiliig, 818th MSAS air advisor and aerospace medical service technician, enabling partner nations to independently maintain and apply new capabilities increases regional security.

    “I have learned to customize training within the parameters of the partner nations' infrastructure and medical system to ensure it is sustainable,” Tewasiliig said. “I find out how they operate within their environment and then I adjust what I know about aeromedical evacuation to help them build the capability successfully.”

    By working with international partners in a variety of environments, air advisors develop communication, relationship building, and problem-solving skills that prove valuable in future assignments and leadership roles.

    “The MSAS was an excellent place to begin working in security cooperation and global health engagement. Tactical, hands-on experience gave me valuable insight to conceptualize and integrate these activities into strategy and policy as an International Health Specialist at a combatant command,” said Lt. Col. Elizabeth Peters, who served on the 571st MSAS and went on to be the U.S. Southern Command Global Health Engagement Branch Chief. “Working in medical security cooperation has also given me perspective and skills that enable me to be a better leader in my current role as the Family Health Clinic Flight Commander at Kirtland Air Force Base.”



    Date Taken: 09.21.2022
    Date Posted: 09.21.2022 08:28
    Story ID: 429390
    Location: FALLS CHURCH, VA, US

    Web Views: 294
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