Columbus AFB challenges medics with combat casualty exercise

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jake Jacobsen
  • 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

Members of the 14th Medical Group participated in a Tactical Combat Casualty Care Course (TCCC) hosted by the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians Feb. 23 on Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi.

The event challenged medics to perform battlefield care in a simulated combat environment to help bolster their medical skills and readiness by performing treatment and care on actors and mannequins.

“This is the foundation that all medics should be proficient in doing,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Kelly, 14th MDG chief nurse. “We want them to be able to go into a combat zone, quickly assess the situation, take care of the most critical casualties first, and transport them to safety.”

The simulation aimed to improve medical training and boost confidence by adding the aspects of low visibility and sounds of gunshots, screaming and sirens to help a reality of a high stress situation of actual combat.

TCCC is designed to help prevent combat deaths by teaching trauma stabilization techniques, enabling the wounded to survive longer until they can receive proper treatment.

Medics had the opportunity during the training procedure to practice some of the lifesaving skills they would use in a real combat situation like tourniquet applications, wound packing, airway support, applying intravenous therapy medications and hemorrhage control.

Rather than plain mannequins or computer-based training the 14th MDG used hands-on tactical combat scenarios where augmented dummies replicated battle wounds to allow the medics to apply needles and chest tubes. These dummies were used as a way to simulate the look, feel and smell of severe traumatic situations on a live human.

“This is a much more tactile way of learning where we hit all aspects of training extending from the classroom to hands-on practice allowing our medics to learn all the skills they need down range in one session,” said Staff Sgt. Jason Stobaugh, 14th MDG biomedical equipment technician. “I am excited to see the rest of our medics come through this course and be battle ready.”

As well as being an dynamic way of learning the training has proven to be a cost effective way for medics to get training on base rather than sending them down range totaling at about an 83 percent cost saving for the base.