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Swamp Fox medics train in San Diego

  • Published
  • By Maj. Daniel Linkroum
  • 169th Medical Group

The 169th Medical Group conducted their Medical Facility Annual Training at San Diego Naval Medical Center August 3-17. Although not everyone went the whole two weeks, 27 medical Airmen accomplished medical-related training at five different training sites that included the Marine Corps Recruiting Depot and Naval Air Station North Island. The training met required Comprehensive Medical Readiness Program skill-sets and medics and providers were able to see patients and experience the nuances of patient care in U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps environments.

Two Swamp Fox medics worked at the MCRD and processed 500 new Marine recruits through their medical clinic, drawing blood and giving shots.

“It was impressive to see so many recruits from every part of the country and to hear their stories while drawing blood or giving immunizations. They had been awake for almost 48 hours. It also hit home because my brother was in their shoes a few years ago. Staff Sergeant Heller and I tried to be a smiling face since it may be the only one they see for a few months,” said Staff Sgt. Lauren Hubert, a medic with the 169th MDG.

At other locations, Airmen and providers worked in Optometry, Emergency Room, and Dental.

Another one of the training opportunities made available on the trip was the Tactical Combat Casualty Course. Expected to replace Self Aid Buddy Care in the future, this four-day clinical-level training advances the medical care that the medics and providers can offer on the battlefield. Shorter courses will eventually be offered to non-clinical Airmen instead of basic SABC.

Col. Akshai Gandhi, the 169th Fighter Wing commander, Col. Karl Bowers, the 169 FW vice commander, Col. Joseph Stewart, the 169th MDG commander and Col. Thomas Watts, a flight surgeon with the 169 FW, visited the Swamp Fox medical team at the TCCC training site, an old movie studio converted to a realistic combat medical training environment. In addition to previewing TCCC training, they were able to look in on realistic field medicine scenarios. Army, Air, and Navy clinicians were put through critical casualty encounters that took them from the emergency room into the operating room and transport onto medevac. 

“There were some challenges, especially with getting the credentialing worked out, but that in itself gave us some lessons learned," said Col. Stewart. "It was inspiring to see Swamp Fox medics perform and excel in realistic emergency medical training. The training received in San Diego will prepare our medics for present and future combat medical care.”