Written by Sgt. Neysa Canfield
101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (AA) Public Affairs
Fort Campbell, KY – Soldiers from the 101st Special Troops Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Sustainment Brigade, 101st Abn. Div., and Soldiers from Company C, 6th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Abn. Div., teamed up to conduct medical evacuation training, March 16th, at Hanger 5, here.
Soldiers learned how to call a nine-line medical evacuation request, how to load patients onto an HH60-M Blackhawk provided by C Co., 6th Bn., 101st Avn. Regt., 101st Combat Avn. Bde., and aircraft safety, such as maintaining a low silhouette when approaching an aircraft.During the loading process, Soldiers first loaded simulated casualties onto an aircraft that was not running.
Staff Sgt. Andrew J. Six, a flight paramedic noncommissioned officer with C Co., 6th Bn., 101st Avn. Regt., was the lead instructor during the training.
“Safety is extremely important, which is why I like getting Soldiers familiar with the aircraft, and knowing how to communicate with the crew chief, medic and pilot among learning how to load patients,” said Six.
After aircraft and loading familiarization, pilots turned on the aircraft to give the Soldiers a more realistic feel to the scenario, said Six.
Like Six, Sgt. 1st Class Charles E. Miller, the medical operations NCO in charge for the 101st Abn. Div. Sust. Bde., said having the Soldiers in full gear load personnel onto a live aircraft in a controlled environment was the best way to instill confidence in the Soldiers.
“Our motto is train as you fight, so having the noise of the rotor blades and carrying an actual person toward the aircraft was important,” said Miller, who coordinated the training event. “It’s one thing to read about it or even simulate a scenario, but actually doing it as you would in the battlefield really builds confidence.”
Miller said because of the limited amount of medics in the brigade, it was important for Soldiers of all military occupational specialties to understand medical evacuation operations and be able to conduct it in a safe and effective manner.
“On the battlefield, no one has the luxury of escaping injuries, regardless of MOS,” said Miller. “So, everyone should know the basic life-saving techniques such as [eagle first responder and combat lifesaver] and how to call a nine-line.”
“I thought the training went well,” said Hankinson. “The instructors were very knowledgeable and everyone was engaged during the training.”
Hankinson said this is the first time he has been part of medical training that has involved loading simulated patients for evacuation.
“I feel confident in myself if I am called to be part of a litter team in the future,” said Hankinson. “It’s important for everyone to know this stuff and it was awesome being able to learn it from professionals and have an actual aircraft to train on.”
Miller, who was a flight paramedic for 15 years, said he was “extremely happy” with the training and the Soldiers who conducted the training.
“Although this is the first time the brigade has conducted this type of training, I could tell the Soldiers really soaked up all the new information and enjoyed being out there,” said Miller.
Miller said the Soldiers will be able to put their new skills to the test during the brigade’s field training exercise at the end of March.
He also added that he hopes to continue to put together training events like the most recent one in order to enhance the readiness of the brigade for future missions.