Aeromedical Evacuation technicians with the 86th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron assigned to Ramstein Air Base, have been sharpening their skills during a refuelling flight in a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 93rd Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron over the skies of Germany and the Netherlands.

The 86th AES provides critical medical care to forces operating throughout Europe and Africa. They are responsible for treating patients for a variety of illnesses and injuries, using assessment skills during contingency operations to save life and limb, and providing essential care to patients of all ages.

“We are that segment between transporting patients from one place to another while still giving them the care they need,” said Capt. Jordan Klein, 86th AES flight nurse. “If we couldn’t be there for them, they are more likely to undergo harm that could have been otherwise preventable.”

KC-135 Aeromedical Evacuation

The mission of the Air Force Aeromedical Evacuation system is to provide time-sensitive, mission-critical care to patients being transported between medical treatment facilities. AE forces operate anywhere air operations occur in support of the full range of military operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster response.

“In-flight training ultimately makes us more prepared for future fights and anything we may see or experience with a patient,” Klein said. “We don’t always have the ability to fly on the KC-135, so building a cohesive working relationship with the 93rd EARS is definitely important to us.”

AE crews execute patient movement primarily on Mobility Air Forces aircraft, including the C-130J Super Hercules, C-21 Learjet, C-17 Globemaster III and the KC-135.

“If we are the only jet available to medically evacuate a patient, our job as boom operators gain more responsibility,” said Senior Airman Carson Wilberg, 93rd EARS boom operator. “Everything from the beginning of the flight to the end becomes a collaborative effort, so it’s really important for us to understand what roles we can fill and how we can help our AE guys out.”
Subscribe to the FINN weekly newsletter