SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – The 82nd Medical Group wrapped up a week-long training program to hone their medical readiness skills Sept. 17, 2021, with a mass casualty exercise.
2nd Lt. Megan Schwinghammer, 82nd MDG medical readiness officer, said Ready Eagle, which is directed by the Air Force Medical Readiness Agency, is designed to help the different response teams within the organization know how to respond when disaster strikes. From setting up decontamination areas to taking care of patients to working with security personnel and manpower, Ready Eagle tested the medical group’s ability to be ready for any event.
“We exercise for situations that could happen real world,” she said. “So, seeing and knowing what they did today, I think they went above and beyond.”
Adam Christmann, the base lead for Sheppard’s Ready Eagle, said the medical readiness activity is conducted at each Air Force base and focuses on the Medical Contingency Response Plan teams within each organization. The program is designed to train personnel early in the week and then observe the teams demonstrate their capabilities with exercises.
He said scenarios could be the public health team responding to a pandemic, the pharmacy dispensing medications during a pandemic or disease outbreak, as well as how the medical control center is able to manage situations such as an explosion or chemical event.
Christmann said the teams at Sheppard performed well overall during the exercises and would be able to replicate that in a real-world event.
“The teams at Sheppard got to practice all week and by the end of the week, they were ready to go. They would’ve saved a lot of lives here today with their performance,” he said. “In most disasters, we might not be able to save everybody, but we saw Team Sheppard do a great job. The 82nd Medical Group definitely – I think the training paid off. Their performance was outstanding.”
Christmann said Ready Eagle is not an inspection, rather it is designed to help, train and make sure medical personnel are prepared to do their job.