AE team provides critical support after Kabul attacks
By Staff Sgt. Leslie Keopka, 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published August 13, 2015
RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- Approximately 25 personnel came together here on a real world aeromedical evacuation mission Aug. 9 to save the lives of service members injured after recent attacks in Kabul.
The medical professionals were a collection of KMC Fire Emergency Services, Aeromedical Evacuation and Critical Care Air Transport Team personnel who assisted with medical treatment during the seven-hour trip from Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.
The 10th Aeromedical Evacuation Operations Team was responsible for providing manpower for patient transport and support for the 455th Expeditionary Aeromedical Squadron's CCATT and AE crews.
"We truly love our job here," said Maj. Catherine Ortega, 10th AEOT officer in charge deployed from Pope Field, North Carolina. "Whether [there are] 40 patients or one, an infant or a wounded warrior, American or allied force, we work our hardest to deliver unsurpassed mission and crew support."
The patients were transported to Ramstein on a C-17 Globemaster III and for one of the pilots, this was his first AE mission.
"This is one of the most humbling experiences I have had in my career," said U.S. Air Force Capt. Mychol Alexander, 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron aircraft commander deployed from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. "To be able to bring someone out of the combat zone and work with the AE crew to try and save a life is without a doubt one of the noblest things I have done."
Because time is of the essence for medical emergencies, Alexander said his crew was instrumental to the mission success.
Alexander said,"My [team's] responsibility was to ensure the aircraft was in the correct state to bring the service members safely to Ramstein and work with the AE doctors and nurses to ensure they had everything they needed to do their job in keeping the patients alive and well."
Airmen from several career fields utilized their training while working together to save the lives of the injured service members. The patients were transported to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center to receive further care.