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Army, Air Medics Train Together for Operation Guardian Angel

  • Published
  • By Spc. Jessica Barb,
  • Joint Force Headquarters - Pennsylvania National Guard

FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. - Medics from the Pennsylvania Army and Air National Guard trained together recently to simulate a real-life medical emergency while in the field.

Over 30 medics from the 628th Aviation Support Battalion, 28th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade and the 193rd Special Operations Wing trained to become proficient in their medical tasks June 18.

Known as Operation Guardian Angel, the exercise began in the field with two dummies as simulated casualties with injuries that needed to be identified and attended to.

Combat medics relocated the “patients” to a safe zone and followed safety procedures. Once the simulated casualties were stabilized, the medics called for a medical evacuation and a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter arrived to fly them to a military hospital for additional treatment.

The 193rd SOW Airmen cared for the injured patients. 

Sgt. 1st Class Ashley Unger, a combat medic instructor for the 166th Regiment – Regional Training Institute, explained the importance of the exercise.

“This training allows combat medics to hone and develop their medical skills when providing treatment to casualties,” Unger said. “It provides the combat medics with a baseline on what they need to sustain and improve on. Without this training, combat medics could potentially make life-threatening mistakes to casualties on the battlefield where mistakes can’t happen.”

Unger also discussed the benefits of having Airmen from the 193rd Special Operations Wing training with the Army medics.

“The training demonstrations from the 193rd SOW allowed the medics to understand how they can better treat and prepare a casualty for the next echelon of care,” Unger said. “With this knowledge, the medics can focus on what medical interventions are more beneficial to set the casualty up for success at the next echelon of care.”

The Soldiers and Airmen went through their checklist to stabilize the patients, lining up each casualty on a cot and checking their pulse, blood pressure and heart rate.

Master Sgt. Daniel Famous, attached to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 28th ECAB, was with the lower enlisted as they conducted their procedures on the patients in the field.

“I feel that the training greatly benefitted the Soldiers and gave them a glimpse of what it takes to treat a real-world casualty,” Famous said. “It helped to reinforce the medical knowledge they already have and point out some areas that they need to improve on. Most of the National Guard medics don’t get a chance to be put under this level of stress training. It was a real eye-opener for the lower enlisted that have never deployed.”