Ready Eagle: the foundation of Scott AFB medical response

  • Published
  • By Senior AIrman Shannon Moorehead

 

Scott Air Force Base, Ill. – Last month members of the 375th Medical Group participated in exercise Ready Eagle here to help further develop their medical preparedness.

Ready Eagle is a week-long exercise created by the Air Force Medical Readiness Agency designed to prepare medical personnel for a home station response to emergency events.

Over 300 medics from the 375th MDG honed their skills in ensuring the health and wellness of the joint force during the training that covered everything from medical control center operations to patient decontamination and triage.

“This type of training event was designed to help develop a sense of confidence in our medical capabilities,” said Martin Schelling, Air Mobility Command emergency medical manager.

Installations must be prepared for a wide range of threats and hazards with medical response teams trained and ready to respond to any type of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, explosive or mass casualty events. Because of this, a timely and effective response can be critical to the safety of personnel on base, said Schelling.

“We do a lot of training for that ‘what if?’ scenario,” said Master Sgt. Ashley Newton, 375th Medical Group medical readiness flight. “For me, I have to go through shooting because there's always the chance where you could potentially be stuck in that situation. You want to be able to respond to it appropriately because we can't just say ‘sorry, I’m not trained, I can't help you.’”

The myriad of training goes through the fundamentals of core competencies needed for Air Force medics. However, Scott AFB medics are working toward being a multitool – not just a scalpel. 

“The foundation is set for every base because that will remain essentially the same,” Newton said. “But we also need to focus on some of the specifics of Scott Air Force Base. What are some of the things we need to be worried about that are unique for us? This training helped us to hone in on those skills and know Scott's unique aspects, but also provided a foundation to build upon.”

The program provided a robust training plan based on the ‘crawl, walk, run’ paradigm. During which, medical personnel were trained extensively on their initial response techniques culminating in a mass exercise where medics were put to the test. 

“As a service partner within the Department of Defense, the Air Force sees its role alongside our fellow servicemen and women to be prepared and ready for the threats that we can face, both from an adversary and from manmade or natural disasters.,” said Schelling. “We want to make sure that all of our service partners have confidence that the Air Force Medical Service takes its mission seriously.”