23rd MDG hones mission readiness skills

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Whitney Gillespie

To enhance mission readiness, the 23rd Medical Group participated in exercise Ready Eagle at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia July 26-28, 2023.

The three-day exercise aimed to not only test the Medical Group in their readiness, but also that of the first responders across the base.

During Ready Eagle, medics had to quickly and effectively assess the injuries of simulated patients and prioritize the most severe wounds. Airmen bandaged wounds, collected patient information and carefully moved immobile patients on a litter to a simulated ambulance area all while working hand-in-hand with their other first responder partners to ensure as much realism as possible.

“We train repeatedly, so when that bad day happens, we are ready to roll and ready to support,” said Master Sgt. Jose Lemus, 23rd MDG Medical Readiness flight chief. “We want that training to be validated and useful if the time comes.”

The height of the exercise featured a simulated explosion where medical, security forces and the fire department responded to execute immediate care of over 40 patients played by volunteers across the wing – aiming to sharpen the Medical Group’s response capabilities to a mass-casualty event and test each team's contingency response plan.

“Ready Eagle not only enhances our teams within the Med Group, but we also had Security Forces, EOD and Fire,” Lemus said. “It was a nice Team Moody effort where we worked alongside our first responders in a unified effort.”

Maj. Anna Lain, 23rd Wing Medical Readiness flight commander emphasized the importance of working with the different emergency response teams across the 23rd Wing.

“The teams should have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with their teammates and prepare together,” Lain said. “You never know when you’re going to have to respond to save lives.”

The exercise also stressed the importance of secondary treatment before patients arrive at the hospital, trained medics on how to correctly utilize decontamination showers and to receive patients from the field response area; all areas of care not typically practiced in day-to-day medical settings.

“This training allowed for corrections to inconsistencies in activation procedures," Lain said. “This exercise showed the importance of tracking patients and communicating information to leadership.”

After days of intense exercise, the collective efforts were evaluated by USAF Ready Eagle evaluators and followed by recognition from the Wing commander, leaving Lemus proud of his fellow Tiger medics.

“It was a success,” Lemus said. “Every team just rocked it - from top to bottom, every team communicated, every single team exceeded their expectations.”

The 23rd MDG plans to continue realistic training such as Ready Eagle to stay mission ready for any situation.

“Our next training day after this will be so much more valuable,” Lain said. “They will know exactly where our weak spots are and they’ll be able to collaborate with other teams and come together to come up with a great training plan to correct all of the issues that were identified in Ready Eagle. We are just that much more capable and prepared for the future.”