22 July 2009

Aeromedical evac teams face off at RODEO 2009

RODEO is the U.S. Air Force's and AMC's (Air Mobility Command) premier air mobility competition. It's an international combat skills and flying operations competition designed to develop and improve techniques, procedures and interoperability with international partners to optimize mobility partnerships and enhance mobility operations.

Teams compete in the aeromedical evacuation events for Air Mobility RODEO 2009 at McChord Air Force Base, Wash., July 20, 2009. More than 100 teams are participating in RODEO competition, including teams from seven foreign countries. U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol.

7/20/2009 - MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- Air Mobility RODEO continued today with numerous events including the aeromedical evacuation competition testing the skills of AE (aeromedical evacuation) crews from around the world.

The aeromedical evacuation events, which range from patient offload tests to a timed scenario that calls for preparing a C-17 Globemaster III for an AE flight, are part of the overall RODEO goal to provide U.S. and international mobility air force partners the chance to further develop skills needed in today's fight.

Members compete during the Aeromedical Evacuation Competition for Air Mobility RODEO 2009, at McChord Air Force Base Wash., July 20. These Airmen are from the 86th Airlift Wing, Ramstein Air Base, Germany. U.S.Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Michelle Larche/Released.

"These competitions allow AE Airmen to improve on our mobility operations," said Senior Master Sgt. Rich Wallace, an umpire for the AE events. "They are able to hone their skills and practice on aircraft universally trained on."

"Timing for contingency flight begins on the ground with initial preparations and the crew being briefed," said Maj. Melissa Smith, the chief umpire for AE events. "Next, the teams prepare medical equipment during pre-flight operations, and when the first member steps on the aircraft to configure for patients."

Capt. Joe Foss assists Capt. Joel Oyama with his MA-1 walk-around bottle for the Aeromedical Evacuation Competition during Air Mobility RODEO 2009, at McChord Air Force Base, Wash., July 20. U.S.Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Michelle Larche/Released.

The team then receives the patient report and move about 12 to 16 patients onto the aircraft. These are patients simulating conditions based on what is seen in deployed war areas such as traumatic brain injury and amputations. The AE event will finally end once the team lands.

Three trophies will be awarded, including awards for best flight crew, best configuration crew and overall performance.

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