HURLBURT FIELD, FL – Air Commandos recently treated simulated patients during the Casualty Evacuation course here.
John Frentress, Air Force Special Operations Command CASEVAC course instructor, provides in class presentations for AFSOC medical teams. They also practice CASEVAC in a simulated combat environment on the ground and in flight.
Frentress said has instructed the course since its induction in 2006.
The two-week course consists of classroom presentations and hands-on training. The course exposes students to a simulated battlefield environment and tests their skills and stress management.
“We get them familiarized with the equipment they will use downrange,” said Frentress. “They are already medically trained, and we put that training to use in these unique environments they aren’t typically exposed to.”
The teams consists of medical professionals, such as a general surgeon, orthopedic surgeon, critical care nurse, emergency physician, certified registered nurse anesthetist, respiratory therapist and a surgical technician.
A special operations surgical team consists of five medical personnel. A special operations critical care team consists of three.
“They cannot go downrange and do their job without this course,” said Frentress. “It’s a requirement, and they have to complete it before deploying.”
Maj. Dustin Lybeck, AFSOC orthopedic surgeon, is one of the students attending the course. He is part of a SOST preparing for a deployment.
“It’s very good operational training; we get hands on practice and the training has been very good,” said Lybeck. “Sometimes it gets a little bit messy, but it gives us a real-world feel.”