86th MDG invites local nationals to witness life-saving capabilities
By Senior Airman Elizabeth Baker, 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 12, 2018
RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany --
Host nation visitors from across the Kaiserslautern Military Community learned about U.S. Air Force and Army expeditionary medical capabilities during the 86th Medical Group’s exercise Maroon Surge Community Outreach Day on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, June 7, 2018.
The Community Outreach Day kicked off Maroon Surge, a multi-day joint training exercise with the U.S. Army, German Bundeswehr, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces, and aimed to strengthen bilateral ties through openness and interaction.
It also showcased the 86th MDG’s capabilities to all Department of Defense card holders and invited them to participate in saving a life by donating blood and bone marrow.
Other distinguished visitors included local leaders such as Ralf Hechler, Ramstein-Miesenbach city and union community mayor, Gudrun Heß-Schmidt, Kaiserslautern county deputy commissioner, and Rudolf Jacob, Winnweiler union community mayor.
Four members of the Croatian armed forces attended as NATO observers, and further participated in Maroon Surge to train in mass casualty evacuation and strengthen ties with U.S. Air Force service members.
“We want to showcase to our KMC family what an Air Force Expeditionary Medical System (EMEDS) capability looks like, and how it operates in a diverse environment,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Ricardo Aldahondo, 86th Medical Support Squadron Resource Management Flight commander.
An EMEDS is a deployable medical unit, like a tent-hospital, that is fully equipped and has rooms that can be added and removed. Personnel can conduct emergency intensive care and stabilize patients for transport to a facility where they can receive further treatment.
“Hosting local national distinguished visitors at our EMEDS proved to be extremely important when it comes to creating partners with our local community,” Aldahondo said. “It’s an opportunity for host nation civic leaders to learn what Air Force medicine brings to the fight. In the event we’re asked to support the KMC in a natural disaster, wartime or contingency environment, our community leaders should know how we will work together with our NATO partners to accomplish the mission.”
The visitors received an EMEDS tour, from the diagnosis room to the surgery room. They also witnessed the teamwork it takes to transfer a patient during a simulated ambulance loading and unloading.
Later in Maroon Surge, the 86th MDG used the EMEDS to conduct a mass casualty exercise, wherein they practiced what would happen if Landstuhl Regional Medical Center became inoperable and had to transfer patients to another facility.
“The feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive.” Aldahondo said. “They very much appreciated Ramstein Air Base opening its doors to the 86th MDG as our medics trained side-by-side with our sister services and NATO partners to accomplish one goal: save lives.”