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156th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron train to provide care skyward

U.S. Air Force Maj. Paul Sanford (left), 156th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, reviews a checklist during an aeromedical training mission where he was an evaluator, Jan. 9, 2015. The roundtrip training flight is out of the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas Intl. Airport, and the mission scenario is to transfer patients from Landstuhl Medical Center, Germany, to Malcolm Grove Medical Center, Md. During the mission the crew is tested randomly on emergency procedures and given medical scenarios. As an evaluator Sanford verified the crews’ ability to respond to aircraft emergency procedures and medical scenarios. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Julianne M. Showalter, 145th Public Affairs/ Released)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Paul Sanford (left), 156th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, reviews a checklist during an aeromedical training mission where he was an evaluator, Jan. 9, 2015. The roundtrip training flight is out of the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas Intl. Airport, and the mission scenario is to transfer patients from Landstuhl Medical Center, Germany, to Malcolm Grove Medical Center, Md. During the mission the crew is tested randomly on emergency procedures and given medical scenarios. As an evaluator Sanford verified the crews’ ability to respond to aircraft emergency procedures and medical scenarios. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Julianne M. Showalter, 145th Public Affairs/ Released)

U.S. Air Force Joy-Lynn Bishop (center), 156th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, opens a litter for an aeromedical training mission at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas Intl. Airport, Jan. 9, 2015. The training mission scenario is to transfer patients from Landstuhl Medical Center, Germany, to Malcolm Grove Medical Center, Md. During this scenario Bishop will act as a simulated patient with severe obsessive compulsive disorder. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Julianne M. Showalter, 145th Public Affairs/ Released)

U.S. Air Force Joy-Lynn Bishop (center), 156th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, opens a litter for an aeromedical training mission at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas Intl. Airport, Jan. 9, 2015. The training mission scenario is to transfer patients from Landstuhl Medical Center, Germany, to Malcolm Grove Medical Center, Md. During this scenario Bishop will act as a simulated patient with severe obsessive compulsive disorder. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Julianne M. Showalter, 145th Public Affairs/ Released)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Nicole Smashum, 156th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, directs the placement of litters while loading a C-130 Hercules aircraft as part of her chief medical technician duties during an aeromedical training mission at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas Intl. Airport, Jan. 9, 2015. The training mission scenario is to transfer patients from Landstuhl Medical Center, Germany, to Malcolm Grove Medical Center, Md. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Julianne M. Showalter, 145th Public Affairs/Released)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Nicole Smashum, 156th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, directs the placement of litters while loading a C-130 Hercules aircraft as part of her chief medical technician duties during an aeromedical training mission at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas Intl. Airport, Jan. 9, 2015. The training mission scenario is to transfer patients from Landstuhl Medical Center, Germany, to Malcolm Grove Medical Center, Md. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Julianne M. Showalter, 145th Public Affairs/Released)

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Shawn Griffin, 156th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, readies litters for patients during an aeromedical training mission at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas Intl. Airport, Jan. 9, 2015. The training mission scenario is to transfer patients from Landstuhl Medical Center, Germany, to Malcolm Grove Medical Center, Md. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Julianne M. Showalter, 145th Public Affairs/ Released)

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Shawn Griffin, 156th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, readies litters for patients during an aeromedical training mission at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas Intl. Airport, Jan. 9, 2015. The training mission scenario is to transfer patients from Landstuhl Medical Center, Germany, to Malcolm Grove Medical Center, Md. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Julianne M. Showalter, 145th Public Affairs/ Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Brittany Callahan (left) and 1st Lt. Shawn Griffin (right) don oxygen masks as part of an emergency procedure during a scenario on an aeromedical training mission roundtrip from North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas Intl. Airport, Jan. 9, 2015. The training mission scenario is to transfer patients from Landstuhl Medical Center, Germany, to Malcolm Grove Medical Center, Md. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Julianne M. Showalter, 145th Public Affairs/ Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Brittany Callahan (left) and 1st Lt. Shawn Griffin (right) don oxygen masks as part of an emergency procedure during a scenario on an aeromedical training mission roundtrip from North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas Intl. Airport, Jan. 9, 2015. The training mission scenario is to transfer patients from Landstuhl Medical Center, Germany, to Malcolm Grove Medical Center, Md. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Julianne M. Showalter, 145th Public Affairs/ Released)

Members of the 156th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron treat a simulated patient for nausea during an aeromedical training mission roundtrip from North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas Intl. Airport, Jan. 9, 2015. The training mission scenario is to transfer patients from Landstuhl Medical Center, Germany, to Malcolm Grove Medical Center, Md. The simulated patient demonstrated symptoms consistent with nausea. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Julianne M. Showalter, 145th Public Affairs/ Released)

Members of the 156th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron treat a simulated patient for nausea during an aeromedical training mission roundtrip from North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas Intl. Airport, Jan. 9, 2015. The training mission scenario is to transfer patients from Landstuhl Medical Center, Germany, to Malcolm Grove Medical Center, Md. The simulated patient demonstrated symptoms consistent with nausea. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Julianne M. Showalter, 145th Public Affairs/ Released)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- As a new year begins, a new training cycle begins and the 156th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron wasted no time getting their airmen skyward to meet requirements and pass standards.

The Jan. 9, 2015 flight consisted of two rotations of training with the crew switching from being patients to acting as medical technicians. Taking only a short break for lunch, the crew handled the busy mission well.

The squadron has the ability to create an intensive care unit in the sky, transporting patients globally on platforms such as the C-17 Globemaster III, KC-135 Stratotanker and C-130 Hercules aircraft.

"The mission today was very busy. It was different than we expected. We met the requirements, adjusted when we needed to and it was successful. Lots of people completed training today," said U.S. Air Force Maj. Paul Sanford, a flight nurse with the 156th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, who held the role of an evaluator during the flight.

"We had some minor hiccups, but that's exactly why we train to see what things can go wrong and correct them," said Master Sgt. Diego Santos, 156th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, who is responsible for giving the scenarios relating to aircraft emergencies and patient ailments as the mission clinical coordinator.

The scenario on the C-130 Hercules aircraft was to move ten patients in need of life-saving care from Landstuhl Medical Center, Germany, to Malcolm Grove Medical Center, Md.

The mock patient maladies ranged from heart failure to intestinal bleeding. Loss of cabin pressurization and warning lights were some of the aircraft emergency simulations during the flight. The airmen must balance these scenarios while providing care to patients.

"They did great; one of the challenges is using the Air Force procedures onboard. Doing medical treatment in a hospital is different than on an aircraft," Sanford said.

Performing these aeromedical tasks is what separates these technicians from the ones seen at a clinic.

"We want to train people so they're doing one thing but thinking two steps ahead of themselves. That way there's no hesitation and better situational awareness," said Santos.

The 156th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron carries out their mission with excellence and ensures that every airman receives very best care possible!