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News | Nov. 1, 2022

316th Medical Group and 1st Helicopter Squadron conduct specialized flight training

By Airman 1st Class Austin Pate,

Members of the 316th Wing Critical Care Air Transport Teams joined the 1st Helicopter Squadron for highly specialized training exercises at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Nov. 1, 2022.

CCATTs are composed of a physician, an intensive care unit nurse, and a respiratory therapist. The team is deployed for global transport of the Department of Defense’s critically injured warfighters. They can also adapt their skills for in-garrison air evacuation care when needed.

During the last year, the 316th CCATTs built and initiated a monthly sustainment training program for more than 30 medics. The training program was initiated to align the 316th CCATTs with Air Mobility Command’s new Department of the Air Force Instruction requirement for sustainment simulation and operational training: ‘To enable the accelerated development of expertise, both in individual and team skills, by bridging the gap between classroom training and real world experiences in a relatively risk-free environment,’ according to the DAFI.

“Historically, CCATTs have worked only on fixed-wing aircraft, but in recent years, they have been trained to set up a small ICU on even rotary-wing aircraft,” said Lt. Col. Jessica Bright, 316th Surgical Operations Squadron CCATT director. “This static and in-flight readiness training is important in preparation for the unpredictability of war and adapting in regulated and unregulated environments.”

During the multiple training weeks throughout the year, the 316th CCATTs can work with the 1st Helicopter Squadron on the UH-1N Huey, the District of Columbia Air National Guard on the UH-60 Black Hawk, the 459th Air Refueling Wing Aeromedical Staging Squadron on the Naval Air Facility Washington’s C-130 Hercules, and the 113th Wing CCATTs on several aircraft.

“It is vital that our off-cycle sustainment training isn’t just annual, but instead frequent, supported and easily implemented with the medical group,” said Bright. “We have that command support here for my CCATTs so that they are ready to go anywhere in the world on any aircraft within 48 hours. I want our members to be familiar and comfortable with the uncertain operational environments before they are dropped into it. Training that is recurrent and sustainable helps meet that goal.”
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