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137 SOW hosts ANG aeromedical evacuation squadron commanders for annual workshop

WILL ROGERS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Okla. --

The 137th Special Operations Wing hosted commanders from all nine Air National Guard aeromedical evacuation squadrons for an AES commander’s workshop, here, April 4-6 .

“The purpose of the workshop is to ensure the continuity of operations among the nine aeromedical squadrons and create a learning environment where we can discuss best practices to enhance the quality of care for patient movement enterprise-wide,” said Col. Keith Reed, 137th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron commander.

Aeromedical squadrons are responsible for the medical care of patients during transportation between military installations and primarily work on the KC-135 Stratotanker, the C-130 Hercules and the C-17 Globemaster III.

“One of the keys to AF Aeromedical Evacuation success is standardization,” said Reed. “We work hard to ensure every unit operates at the same high standards that will ensure a seamless transition from home station to the deployed environment. Although nine separate units were represented at the workshop, many individuals have already deployed and worked side-by-side.”  

For outside units, the workshop provided valuable feedback for the career field while offering an environment that promoted fostering connections.

“The base was a welcoming environment, and its presentation was exemplary,” said Lt. Col. Rachel Mallette, National Guard Bureau aeromedical evacuation branch chief. “It was an ideal platform for comradery and networking opportunities, to include the ice breaker and the lead in to the MATOP exercise. It allowed the leadership to meet face-to-face to discuss successes and short falls, financial planning, exercises and deployments, manning, and the future of aeromedical evacuation.”  

The aeromedical field supports all branches and all wounded warriors, said Col. Reed. As such, the 137 AES took the task of coordinating the event seriously and willingly.  

“It is always a challenge to coordinate an event like this, especially in a way that accommodates all participants,” said Reed. “It was very beneficial for each of the nine ANG aeromedical evacuation squadrons to share their stories, including successes, challenges, and ideas for a better community. My hope is that by fostering these relationships, we will coordinate additional bilateral training opportunities between squadrons, where we share resources and benefit from collaborative training.”