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Airmen train on skills from land survival to space radar

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Marlin Malone,
  • Tennessee National Guard Public Affairs Office

FAIRBANKS, Alaska – Members of the Tennessee National Guard trained in Alaska on a wide range of skills with their career field counterparts from Eielson Air Force Base.

The Tennessee Air National Guard, comprised of three wings and two geographically separated squadrons, sent members from each unit to train on Tactical Combat Casualty Care, career field-specific tasks, land navigation, and outdoor survival skills.

"This is the first time since 2007 that we've had the opportunity to perform an annual training event that included all five operational units and the Joint Force Headquarters," said Col. Jason Brock, the Tennessee Air National Guard director of staff. "It's been an important opportunity for quality training, state-to-state synergy, and active-duty interactions with counterparts."

Tennessee Airmen from multiple career fields worked with the Alaska Air National Guard's 168th Air Refueling Wing and the U.S. Air Force's 354th Fighter Wing Aug. 16-20. Tennessee Airmen presented legal training on progressive discipline, traded best practices, and unit recruiters shared ideas to better communicate with new recruits.

"I really appreciated the new first aid training," said Staff Sgt. Jerimiah Toney, from the 118th Mission Support Group. "It taught us how to care for our wingmen, and it comes from years of experience in combat situations."

The 354th Medical Group, using the Defense Health Agency's Tactical Combat Casualty Care course, trained every Airman from Tennessee. TCCC is the newest military first aid training based on evidence from the battlefield on what works best to provide timely, lifesaving techniques.

A highlight for many of the Airmen was a trip to a Space Force unit. Clear Space Force Station operates an early warning radar and conducts a space surveillance mission. The 213th Space Warning Squadron explained the mission and the challenges of working in severe weather in a remote area.

"It was really great to see how the Alaska radar works with all the other systems to keep an eye on the skies over the U.S.," said Senior Airman Noah Gaston.

The Tennessee Airmen also practiced land navigation and learned survival skills, including making a shelter, starting a fire, signaling for help and finding food.