92nd OG partners with 375th AES Airmen, expand KC-135 capabilities
By Airman 1st Class Whitney Laine, 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 08, 2018
FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- Airmen from the 92nd Operations Group partnered with the 375th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron to learn how to turn a KC-135 Stratotanker into a mobile hospital at Fairchild Air Force Base March 1.
This partnership provides increased resiliency, capacity and ability of the Rapid Global Mobility mission by integrating and leveraging total force, joint, and allied partners to strengthen capabilities.
“Our partnership exists with any AES that needs to utilize the KC-135 to transport patients,” said Maj. Michael Gaskins, 93rd Air Refueling Squadron assistant operations officer. “We coordinated with the 375th AES from Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, to get some refresher training for our aircrew on their mission. This helps keep our aircrew proficient in all areas of our conventional mission sets.”
The AE mission is patient movement; this includes evacuating patients from a deployed location to provide necessary aftercare in a safe, secure and capable facility.
“Our aircraft also has two distinct characteristics to help support the AE mission; speed and range,” Gaskins said. “It’s the fastest and longest range AE aircraft, which is significant because it provides AE teams access to more locations in the least amount of time.”
AE teams consist of two flight nurses, three aeromedical technicians and a flight crew. The familiarity of safety checks and equipment operation is critical to caring for and transporting patients around the world with safety and urgency.
“There are multiple factors to why AE is important to the Air Force mission,” said Staff Sgt. Kendra Fulton, 375th AES aeromedical technician. “Not only has it helped in drastically increasing the survivability rate [of patients], it has also had a psychological impact to injured men and women downrange. Knowing that we can reach them within 24 hours of becoming injured is crucial for our boots on the ground.”
Training alongside each other offers both the 92nd OG and 375th AES the opportunity to learn and master all platforms of air mobility.
“The reality is that we can be tapped at any moment, anywhere in the world, to provide rapid aeromedical evacuation response,” Gaskins said. “Having the opportunity to train first-hand with the 375th AES is invaluable and ensures we execute at a high level when called upon. The opportunity to be part of the rapid movement of fellow brothers and sisters in arms in order to get them the care they need is a tremendous source of pride for Fairchild aircrews,” Gaskins said.