Wyoming Air National Guard partners with Tunisia for life saving training
by Staff Sgt. Natalie Stanley
153rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Wyoming National Guard
CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- Maj. Janice
Weixelman and 1st Lt. Shane Ryan, Wyoming Air National Guard, Cheyenne,
Wyo., 187th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron flight surgeon and flight
nurse, traveled to Bizerte, Tunisia, May 22-24, to participate in the
Medlite 2012 exercise.
The purpose of this exercise was to help the Tunisian medical military
personnel train for aeromedical evacuation of large casualty events.
"The Libyan crisis really woke up the Tunisians to logistics of how to
handle mass causalities," said Ryan. "In Tunisia, the medical corps is
it for life flights including water, desert and civilian rescues; they
don't have a civilian system in place like America does."
The Wyoming National Guard and Tunisia have been partners in the
National Guard Bureau's State Partnership Program since 2004. Wyoming
Air National Guard personnel have participated in a number of exercises
and exchanges in Tunisia since the partnership began.
The three-day exercise consisted of lectures, round table discussion of mass casualty scenarios and a full scale exercise.
A variety of topics were covered during the first two days by both U.S.
Air Force and Tunisian military participants. Weixelman and Ryan
presented power point presentations on equipment utilized by aeromedical
evacuation teams, duties of a flight surgeon in a combat environment,
and the echelon of AE levels for a combat environment.
"It was very educational and worked out well, I still had all the
regulations and (Air Force instructions) in my head from flight school
this past August," said Ryan.
The first two days also incorporated varies demonstrations including;
the aeromedical evacuation procedures of the Tunisian HH-3 helicopter,
raising and lowering of both personnel and littered patients into a
hovering helicopter, and familiarization with equipment used to
Military doctors, nurses and nursing students got hands-on training on
day three with an exercise scenario involving a simulated airplane crash
with 33 casualties, 13 dead and 20 injured.
Participants processed the exercise wounded and deceased through a
casualty collection point and then to transport via helicopter to the
Aeromedical Staging Facility.
The casualty collection point was set up to receive patients from the
crash site. Doctors and nurses with four litter attendants were used to
begin the assessment of severity and number of injured. Also, initial
first aid and triage were accomplished; patients were placed in
ambulances and transferred to the first aid station.
The exercise helped participants get a better understanding of the complexity that can occur with a disaster situation.
"The ability of personnel to interact with each other, as well as
understand the role of the counterparts improves the capacity of a team
to prepare for more than just their own sequestered role," said
"The majority of participants had never had the experience of working in
or around helicopters or C-130s" said Weixelman, "this exercise gave
them an invaluable opportunity to understand the complexity and extent
of aeromedical evacuation."
"I definitely learned way more than I taught and it was an honor to be able to be a part of this exercise," said Ryan.
Original Article: Air National Guard