Chilean and U.S. Air Forces Cooperate to Strengthen Aeromedical Evacuations

Chilean and U.S. Air Forces Cooperate to Strengthen Aeromedical Evacuations

By Dialogo
May 19, 2015




About 60 members of the Chilean Air Force (FACH) and the United States Air Force (USAF) recently met to strengthen aeromedical evacuation capabilities in aid of disaster victim, holding a seminar called “Challenges for Joint Aeromedical Evacuations” April 8-10 at the FACH Clinical Hospital in Santiago.

The seminar was attended by 46 members of Chile's Army, Navy, Air Force, Carabineros
, Investigatory Police, representatives of Chile’s Metropolitan Emergency Mobile Medical Treatment System (SAMU), and a delegation consisting of 14 service members from the USAF and members of the Texas Air National Guard, said Colonel Alger Rodó, chief of the medical operations department at the FACH Health Division. Representatives from Chile's critical care unit and Intensive Care Unit at the Military hospital also attended.

“Twenty years ago, each institution used different equipment,” said Col. Rodó. “Now, there is interoperability in many activities; our equipment meets NATO standards, and this allows us to combine elements and obtain good results. It is in Chile’s interests to provide continual training to the Armed Forces as well as increase and improve its aeromedical evacuation capabilities.”

Sharing medical protocols and information


During the seminar, organizations demonstrated how they performed aeromedical evacuations --- describing their procedures, techniques, equipment, training, and personnel for carrying out medical air transport -- in an effort to learn from each other.

The USAF “shared its experiences on precautions, reconnaissance and response to the Ebola virus,” Col. Rodó said. “We also had an Officer from the Uruguayan Army who was in Congo and spoke about managing the fatal virus (Ebola). The meeting helped us understand the challenges each organization had faced with its aeromedical evacuations and how they solved them. We also analyzed the elements on which we agreed, and the challenges in the future.”

Recent medical evacuations discussed


Meanwhile, the director of Metropolitan SAMU, Ximena Grove, discussed the work emergency medical personnel perform with the Armed Forces, focusing on recent medical evacuations conducted in the region of Atacama. On April 8, for instance, the FACH transported a 20-month-old child from the Copiapó Regiment to Pudahuel Air Base in Santiago; from there he was transferred to Dr. Luis Calvo Mackenna Hospital, also in the capital. The toddler was flown in a 9th Aviation Group UH-1H helicopter and subsequently by a 5th Aviation Group Cessna Citation CJ1 airplane.

“In the event of multiple accidents, the FACH has always been called upon to provide medical air transportation,” Col. Rodó said. “No other institution or private company has the ability to provide immediate transport for 20 or 30 patients.”

In one such instance, a C-130 Hercules airplane from the FACH 10th Aviation Group departed Pudahuel Air Base for Formosa, Argentina – approximately 1,500 kilometers from Santiago – to airlift 41 Chilean children, adolescents, and adults who were injured when a bus overturned while they were traveling back to Iquique from a championship soccer game in the city of Caraguatatuba, Brazil.

The FACH evacuates about 20 or so critical patients each year, Col. Rodó said. Service Members who participated in the medical evacuations have been trained in aviation medicine and aircrew health.

FACH conducts exercises with Texas Air National Guard


The seminar continued a longstanding cooperative relationship between Chilean and U.S. security forces. Since 1995, the FACH has maintained regular joint relations with the Texas Air National Guard, sharing basic concepts such as how to place a patient properly on a stretcher to reduce transport times, to highly complex training.

“Our relationship has seen an increase in the complexity of the training; now we are sending Chilean service members to participate in critical courses,” Col. Rodó said.

For instance, two weeks after the seminar on aeromedical evacuations, a team of FACH physicians participated in joint disaster management exercises with the U.S. Air Force and Texas Air National Guard from April 20-28 in Texas. There, they performed mass aeromedical evacuations as well as airlifts for individual patients from cities in the context of a fictitious scenario in which a hurricane had struck a U.S. state. The training was conducted with critical care air transport teams (CCATT).

“Our team of physicians achieved all of the exercises’ objectives, and this demonstrates that our personnel are very well-trained,” Col. Rodó said.

Retired Chilean Army Colonel Carlos Ojeda noted the value of the joint exercises. “These exercises allow us to perfect our teamwork skills, the interoperability of the Chilean Armed Forces, and to reinforce bilateral relationships with our partners to confront challenges to our security,” he said.

The Chilean Air Force will send all of its physicians involved in medical evacuations of critical care patients for training in the CCATT course.

“It is always necessary to keep progressing,” Col. Rodó said. “This work is part of our DNA as an institution.”



About 60 members of the Chilean Air Force (FACH) and the United States Air Force (USAF) recently met to strengthen aeromedical evacuation capabilities in aid of disaster victim, holding a seminar called “Challenges for Joint Aeromedical Evacuations” April 8-10 at the FACH Clinical Hospital in Santiago.

The seminar was attended by 46 members of Chile's Army, Navy, Air Force, Carabineros
, Investigatory Police, representatives of Chile’s Metropolitan Emergency Mobile Medical Treatment System (SAMU), and a delegation consisting of 14 service members from the USAF and members of the Texas Air National Guard, said Colonel Alger Rodó, chief of the medical operations department at the FACH Health Division. Representatives from Chile's critical care unit and Intensive Care Unit at the Military hospital also attended.

“Twenty years ago, each institution used different equipment,” said Col. Rodó. “Now, there is interoperability in many activities; our equipment meets NATO standards, and this allows us to combine elements and obtain good results. It is in Chile’s interests to provide continual training to the Armed Forces as well as increase and improve its aeromedical evacuation capabilities.”

Sharing medical protocols and information


During the seminar, organizations demonstrated how they performed aeromedical evacuations --- describing their procedures, techniques, equipment, training, and personnel for carrying out medical air transport -- in an effort to learn from each other.

The USAF “shared its experiences on precautions, reconnaissance and response to the Ebola virus,” Col. Rodó said. “We also had an Officer from the Uruguayan Army who was in Congo and spoke about managing the fatal virus (Ebola). The meeting helped us understand the challenges each organization had faced with its aeromedical evacuations and how they solved them. We also analyzed the elements on which we agreed, and the challenges in the future.”

Recent medical evacuations discussed


Meanwhile, the director of Metropolitan SAMU, Ximena Grove, discussed the work emergency medical personnel perform with the Armed Forces, focusing on recent medical evacuations conducted in the region of Atacama. On April 8, for instance, the FACH transported a 20-month-old child from the Copiapó Regiment to Pudahuel Air Base in Santiago; from there he was transferred to Dr. Luis Calvo Mackenna Hospital, also in the capital. The toddler was flown in a 9th Aviation Group UH-1H helicopter and subsequently by a 5th Aviation Group Cessna Citation CJ1 airplane.

“In the event of multiple accidents, the FACH has always been called upon to provide medical air transportation,” Col. Rodó said. “No other institution or private company has the ability to provide immediate transport for 20 or 30 patients.”

In one such instance, a C-130 Hercules airplane from the FACH 10th Aviation Group departed Pudahuel Air Base for Formosa, Argentina – approximately 1,500 kilometers from Santiago – to airlift 41 Chilean children, adolescents, and adults who were injured when a bus overturned while they were traveling back to Iquique from a championship soccer game in the city of Caraguatatuba, Brazil.

The FACH evacuates about 20 or so critical patients each year, Col. Rodó said. Service Members who participated in the medical evacuations have been trained in aviation medicine and aircrew health.

FACH conducts exercises with Texas Air National Guard


The seminar continued a longstanding cooperative relationship between Chilean and U.S. security forces. Since 1995, the FACH has maintained regular joint relations with the Texas Air National Guard, sharing basic concepts such as how to place a patient properly on a stretcher to reduce transport times, to highly complex training.

“Our relationship has seen an increase in the complexity of the training; now we are sending Chilean service members to participate in critical courses,” Col. Rodó said.

For instance, two weeks after the seminar on aeromedical evacuations, a team of FACH physicians participated in joint disaster management exercises with the U.S. Air Force and Texas Air National Guard from April 20-28 in Texas. There, they performed mass aeromedical evacuations as well as airlifts for individual patients from cities in the context of a fictitious scenario in which a hurricane had struck a U.S. state. The training was conducted with critical care air transport teams (CCATT).

“Our team of physicians achieved all of the exercises’ objectives, and this demonstrates that our personnel are very well-trained,” Col. Rodó said.

Retired Chilean Army Colonel Carlos Ojeda noted the value of the joint exercises. “These exercises allow us to perfect our teamwork skills, the interoperability of the Chilean Armed Forces, and to reinforce bilateral relationships with our partners to confront challenges to our security,” he said.

The Chilean Air Force will send all of its physicians involved in medical evacuations of critical care patients for training in the CCATT course.

“It is always necessary to keep progressing,” Col. Rodó said. “This work is part of our DNA as an institution.”
May this come true
We all want peace, except for the bitter. Something has happened to make these groups so evil. Let us speak with them, a prison that offers rehabilitation. My comment is there are young people who want to serve in the military and you reject them. Iit should not be so, my son wanted to join the regiment and he was rejected. Now my son is really sad. We think it must be because he's middle class or does he need to have money?
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