AES maintains currency during Puerto Rico trip

During an off station exercise for the 315th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron. Master Sgt. Johnny Gomez played the part of a Soldier returning to Afghanistan after multiple deployments. This scenario was to gauge how the AE members would react when the Soldier had an anxiety attack midair and eventually became combative. The patient was successfully restrained to keep him from harming himself or others on the jet. (U.S. Air Force Photo by 2nd Lt. Chris Long)

During an off station exercise for the 315th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron. Master Sgt. Johnny Gomez played the part of a Soldier returning to Afghanistan after multiple deployments. This scenario was to gauge how the AE members would react when the Soldier had an anxiety attack midair and eventually became combative. The patient was successfully restrained to keep him from harming himself or others on the jet. (U.S. Air Force Photo by 2nd Lt. Chris Long)

Lt Col Angie Trogdon, 315th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron flight nurse and  officer in charge of operations, and Major Roseann Teckman, 315th AES examiner and Standardization and Evaluation team member, discuss task requirements for currency and check ride training during an off station exercise for the Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron in November.  (U.S. Air Force Photo by 2nd Lt. Chris Long)

Lt Col Angie Trogdon, 315th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron flight nurse and officer in charge of operations, and Major Roseann Teckman, 315th AES examiner and Standardization and Evaluation team member, discuss task requirements for currency and check ride training during an off station exercise for the Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron in November. (U.S. Air Force Photo by 2nd Lt. Chris Long)

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO -- Reservists from the 315th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron performed a vital training mission in San Juan, Puerto Rico earlier this month allowing them to maintain and hone their life-saving skills.

Their mission consisted of maintaining currency, performing check rides, and reacting to events that require immediate action. That is exactly why members of the 315th Airlift Wing’s Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron climbed aboard a C-17 heading from Charleston, S.C. to San Juan, Puerto Rico.

“A check ride is more than an inflight inspection. The member has to take two written tests, one oral test, and then the check ride,” said Lt. Col. Angie Trogdon, flight nurse and officer in charge of operations. All AE members must perform a check ride every 17 months.

Currency training is required when a member has not flown in the past 90 days. After 90 days the member is no longer current or qualified on their required tasks. Senior Airman Storm Ford, an AE technician, was being examined for currency by Chief Master Sgt. Bart Walters, AE technician instructor and mission clinical coordinator.

“Currency training, like a check ride, is also an inspection but it occurs when a member has gone overdue and now must prove their ability to perform the necessary tasks from memory and with no assistance,” said Walters.

“They must demonstrate their knowledge in a real time environment in a manner that proves that they can be an effective caregiver for the patients,” he added. He also mentioned that the scenarios are out of a playbook, but it is refreshed at least once a quarter to make sure that all of the training is fresh and not a canned event.

Col. Sunny Gates, the 315th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron director of operations, received a check ride from Maj. Roseann Teckman, a 315th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron examiner and Standardization and Evaluation team member. “We have to do the training in mass and that can be distracting,” Gates said. She said she would prefer the one on one training but understands that due to current constraints that the ability to have individualized training has become difficult and that logistically it is easier to have training events in a large forum such as this one.

“It’s not just about completing the training,” Teckman said. “Our goal is not to get a checkmark and say you’re good for the next seventeen months. It’s about the patients.”

“Our goal is to make sure that from the time the patient leaves the bus, boards the aircraft, and is taken off of the aircraft at the new location that we provide them not only effective care, but excellent care,” Teckman added. “They are our mission. Simply put, we are here to preserve life.”

At the conclusion of the successful mission, two Reservists completed their currency requirements and three received check rides.

With the rigorous training 315th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron is required to maintain, the men and women in harm’s way can have the best care possible and from Citizen Airmen who put the needs of their patient above their own and provide world-class care second to none.



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