February 22, 2017 (by SrA Tristin English) - The 375th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron’s mission is to provide Theater Aeromedical Evacuation System capabilities to support group, wing, numbered Air Force, major commands and Air Force missions.
Contractors work with the military to help move C-130H #74-2131 on February 23, 2017 at Scott AFB. The FuT allows for hands-on muscle memory of configuration, placement of in-flight kits, electrical, oxygen, emergency exits, etc. 100% of readiness skills are completed for the Aeromedical Evacuation Technicians. [USAF photo by SrA Tristin English]
The 375th AES was given an opportunity to receive a C-130H aircraft to function as a ground AE fuselage trainer, or FuT. Through coordination with Air Mobility Command, the wing secured a C-130H that was scheduled for decommissioning from Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark.
“The C-130 is the primary aircraft for this squadron,” said Maj. Mark Hassett, 375th AES operations flight commander. “This particular C-130 was scheduled to be decommissioned and retired when the 375th AES learned of its potential to be acquired and repurposed as a fuselage trainer. Additionally, the C-130 performs the lion’s share of patient evacuation while downrange.”
The enroute care environment is dynamic and requires constant innovation to ensure the AE crews and ground support personnel are highly proficient in providing high quality, highly reliable, patient transport in support of its mission.
“AES worked with AMC and C-130 training resources to determine what parts were needed to sustain a realistic training platform,” said Hassett. “Critical components deemed unnecessary for AE training were removed from the aircraft and recycled so other agencies could use them.”
The C-130H FuT provides a controlled environment where the 375th AES personnel can schedule realistic, high-fidelity task training and mission simulation. Ground support personnel and aeromedical evacuation crew members from any medical AF specialty code will be able to apply lessons learned. In addition, they will be able to sustain task proficiency to better support the AE crews and the Tactical Aeromedical Evacuation System mission.
“The C-130H FuT provides an innovative, cost effective, improved training platform for total force AE and ground support personnel in terms of aircraft configuration familiarization and realistic, high-fidelity task training and mission simulation,” said Hassett. “The C-130 FuT doubles the 375th AES simulation training capability.
“In conjunction with our KC-135 Simulation Learning Center/Cargo Compartment Trainer, both training platforms provide our AE two of the three primary aircraft used for aeromedical evacuation in a low threat, hi-fidelity capacity for clinical as well as operational exposure.”
The FuT also allows for hands-on muscle memory of configuration, placement of in-flight kits, electrical, oxygen, emergency exits, etc. Overall, 100 percent of required readiness skills are completed for the aeromedical evacuation technicians. Flight nurses have transitioned to foundational and operational skills as those are consistent with the semi-annual training requirements that are completed both in the CCT, FuT and flight, depending on training level.
“Any aeromedical evacuation squadron—Guard, Reserve, or active duty—are welcome to train on our FuT,” said Hassett. “In fact, some already have trained with our simulation facility. In the future, we anticipate being a regional hub for AE training.”
Lt. Col. Catherine Bonhoff, 375th AES operations officer, said, “When the FuT was temporarily parked on the flight line, it could only be partially used for AE training.
“By moving it to a concrete pad with appropriate electrical support, the 502nd Training Development Squadron can restore and modify the interior so that it can be certified as an AE trainer.
“This means that aeromedical evacuation crew members can receive the same credit for designated training events on the FuT as they would for flying in the aircraft.
“If the FuT didn’t move, then it would not have a stable power source and therefore could not be modified and used as a certified trainer.”
With the complexity of acquiring training missions for AE crews and ground support personnel, the addition of a C-130H FuT provides an innovative, cost effective training platform for the 375th AES to better sustain technically proficient, highly skilled, multi-functional AE crews and ground support personnel.