Combat & Casualty Care

Q1 2017

Military Magazines in the United States and Canada, Covering Combat and Casualty Care, first responders, rescue and medical products programs and news\Tactical Defense Media

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COMMANDER'S CORNER Part of this achievement can be attributed to the safe-to-fly agree- ment with the Aeromedical Testing Lab. Once, it took two years to get through the safe-to-fly process; today, most items are cleared in six months. All items approved, under development, or found unsuitable for AFSOC needs, are published in an online catalog that is distributed semiannually to our medics and many joint partners. C&CC: How is AFSOC addressing healthcare training readiness in preparing personnel for contingency medical support? COL Harvis: The foundation of AFSOC's training readiness is clinical proficiency. As the idiom goes, "amateurs practice until they get it right; professionals practice until they don't get it wrong." Providers must first be masters in their medical field, not necessarily expert marksmen. This is the very reason AFSOC embeds surgical teams into Level 1 trauma centers. Our Special Operations Squadron Medical Element (SOFME) medics are required to engage in a broad range of primary and specialty care on a weekly basis, to prepare for deployments, in addition to many other critical training requisites. All AFSOC medics have an annual training plan that may include field skills, casualty evacuation (CASEVAC) training, pre-deployment exercises, and simulations. Conventional force surgical teams tasked to support SOF missions are also required to attend a two-week Introduction to Special Operations Medicine (ISOM) course. A cornerstone of our healthcare training platform is the Tactical Operations Medical Skills (TOMS) simulation lab. The lab was built in 2005 for trauma sustainment training and designed to accommodate joint DoD and international partners. The CASEVAC course was added in 2007, and demand for training has increased every year. In fiscal year 2016, the TOMS lab operated at maximum capacity, training 1186 personnel in 178 training events, lasting up to two weeks. 142 units were trained, to include members from other MAJCOMS, SOCOM, Army, Navy, Department of State, and eight foreign countries. Recently, six manikins were purchased for the program at a total cost of $500,000, and a CV-22 mock-up trailer with full-length fuselage was procured, adding to the MH-53 mock-up. The current course list is extensive and includes Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC), ISOM, ACLS, Paramedic Refresher, SABC, Readiness Skills Verification training, and point-of-injury training scenarios (POINTS). C&CC: Are there any other challenges AFSOC medical is addressing going forward in 2017? COL Harvis: Major Jonathan Letterman, the father of modern battlefield medicine, treated 21,000 Union and Confederate troops at Gettysburg in 24 hours. He understood the importance of bringing surgeons to the battlefield. Today, the joint medical community continues to re-invent Dr. Letterman's far-forward surgical team concept. Currently, there are 28 validated joint taskings for agile and austere surgical teams, with eleven of these requirements unfilled. The number of required surgical teams will only increase with the intensifying conflicts in EUCOM, CENTCOM, PACOM, and AFRICOM, making it implausible for the DoD to meet the demand. For instance, even if AFRICOM was the only area of responsibility (AOR) in need of medical support, the sheer size of the continent makes it impossible to provide full medical coverage. The only practical solution to safeguard the AFRICOM AOR is with Air Evacuation, using partner nation facilities and coalition air support. In addition, planners must strategically align mobile field surgical teams with high risk missions. The Services can no longer work independently and must be interoperable and interchangeable. As global conflicts spread, the greatest challenge is to ensure that our civilian and senior military leaders have a realistic expecta- tion of medical capabilities, as well as of casualty and survival rates. Modern technology, improved medical knowledge, and mobile damage control surgery cannot make up for the lack of medical manpower and resources. The best way to mitigate the escalating requirements is to bring the Total Force to the fight. AFSOC has been collaborating closely with the Air Combat Command (ACC) and Air Mobility Com- mand (AMC) for the past two years, to redesign conventional force surgical team capabilities. The Air Force and Army are reorganizing their future surgical teams, using the SOST equipment package and manning doctrine as a foundation. The Navy is not far behind. In closing, I would like to express how proud I am to be an Air Com- mando, working side by side with the most dedicated medics in the world. Furthermore, I want to thank the AFSOC and SOCOM command- ers, and the USAF Surgeon General, all of whom provide our Special Operations medics with superior leadership and unwavering support. E NO Simple Sugars E Prevents and Corrects Dehydration E No Cramping E Most Easily Digested Sports Drink Available E Class VIII Certified E National Stock Numbers (NSNs) on All Products E DLA Contract (DAPA; Prime Vendor; FSS; CAGE code 020B7) r i c e - b a s e d h y d r a t i o n 111 12th Street, Suite 100 Columbus, GA 31901 706.221.1542 COMPLIMENTARY SUBSCRIPTION | scan the code to sign up now! Spring 2017 | Combat & Casualty Care | 19

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