130th Medical Group Completes MFAT in Sicily Published Aug. 16, 2023 By 2nd Lt. De-Juan Haley NAVAL AIR STATION SIGONELLA, Italy -- NAVAL AIR STATION SIGONELLA, Italy -- 130th Medical Group (MDG) received a lifetime opportunity as 32 members traveled around the world to complete their Medical Facility Annual Training (MFAT) from July 8-23, 2023, at Naval Air Station (NAS) Sigonella, Italy. MFAT is a National Guard unit-funded program to maintain members' mission-essential medical skills proficiency and clinical readiness tasks that members cannot accomplish at home. Every year, medical groups from the Air National Guard (ANG) are ranked on a report card to bid for locations to complete MFAT. With a high ranking, units can market themselves for selections to preferred locations. According to Col. Yancy Short, 130th Medical Group (MDG) commander, the unit routinely scores among the highest in the ANG. "When I took over, we were eighty-seven out of ninety-two med groups," Short said, "at one point, we reached number one, but we usually stay in the top four." With the high ranking, the unit obtained its first selection. The 130 AW MDG is a non-treatment facility. MFATs are crucial to the currency of members' clinical skills and readiness tasks by its comprehensive medical readiness program's (CMRP) training requirements. For Airman Basic Kalysta Keaton, a dental technician fresh out of technical school, it was an opportunity to get hands-on experience and take advantage of a chance rarely afforded to members new to the military. "I was still in tech school, and I got a message asking if I would be interested," said Keaton. "I've never been out of the country before, so it was a great learning experience." The dental group was among the busiest sections during the two weeks, seeing over 60 patients. Additionally, working with their Naval counterparts allowed them to work with a sister service they usually don’t work with. Overall, the MFAT training at NAS Sigonella was a resounding success for the 130th Medical Group. It provided them with invaluable hands-on experience and enhanced their ability to deliver high-quality medical care in challenging environments. The training improved the group's technical skills and strengthened their teamwork, adaptability, and resilience. "I think the biggest thing is it allowed us to have a group cohesiveness that I think we lack when all you do is work with somebody on weekends," said Short. "I saw a lot of camaraderie that I don't normally see on drill weekends."