CLARK, Philippines -- U.S. medical personnel from across Pacific Air Forces held an Aeromedical Evacuation Subject Matter Expert Exchange with the Philippine Air Force at Clark AB, Pampanga, Philippines, September 9 – 11.
U.S. Air Force aeromedical evacuation subject matter experts from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii and Kadena Air Base, Japan joined with their PAF counterparts to conduct the SMEE. Participants shared real-world tactics, techniques, and procedures, demonstrated AE medical equipment and conducted exercises to stress on how to enhance aeromedical evacuation operations within the area of responsibility.
Following the success of the 2018 AE and Patient Movement SMEE, this event advances the series by focusing on exchanging AE concepts to support interoperability with coalition partners, assisting with military contingencies, and Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Response in the AOR. The exchange aimed to help fill the gaps on procedures to assist and improve PAF’s contingency response to disasters and conflicts.
According to U.S. Air Force Col. Robert Craig-Gray, Aerospace Medicine Division chief, Headquarters PACAF Office of Command Surgeon, described what he felt made this engagement a success, “These exchanges are the best ways to learn from each other from partnership and interoperability.”
The exchange was structured and designed to provide the PAF with concepts that will strengthen their protocol and procedures, and to share information as effectively as possible.
While it was titled an aeromedical evacuation SMEE, personnel from other fields also participated in the exchange. Other aircrew members, such as PAF fixed-wing and rotary pilots participated in the event to have a better understanding of patient movement and how it relates to their flying operation.
The bulk of this three-day SMEE was presented in Tagalog. PACAF facilitators were selected due to their primary specialty, skillsets, language capability, and International Health Specialist special experience identifier. An overwhelming amount of positive feedback was received from the PAF audience, facilitators, and leadership in regards to utilizing host nation language into practice for this event.
PAF Maj. Gen. Allen T. Paredes, Air Logistics Command commander, stated, “Exchanges like these deepen the understanding of aeromedical evacuation, as well as deepen the understanding of the culture of the United States and the Philippines.”