This past summer, Capt. Diego Torres, a flight nurse evaluator with the 375th Operations Group, Detachment 4 located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, and a team of International Health Specialists visited Tegucigalpa, Honduras, as part of a global health engagement.
The purpose of the engagement was to advise the Honduran Air Forces on drafting and implementing a checklist for their aeromedical evacuation operations, patient staging preparation and AE doctrine development. Torres advised on topics such as command and control, AE patient movement preparation, and alert policies and procedures.
“I was extremely honored to be part of such a marvelous team and also to have represented the United States Air Force,” he said. “Communication with the Honduran Air Force was done entirely in Spanish and having a (language) certification allowed me to perform my duties with success during the global health engagement. Having the opportunity to share our AE knowledge will not only allow them to establish their own AE doctrine, but more importantly provide AE support to over eight million of its citizens.”
The HAF elected to use the Cessna 208 caravan as their AE fixed wing platform for this training, which had been configured with an air ambulance life support system. Torres said that incorporating medical assets to the Cessna 208 was challenging, but that their shared interest in developing AE capabilities ensured success.
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As a result of this international partnership, the Honduran military exercised and executed AE transport that not only increased their capacity to aid its citizens but also allowed them to author their first-ever, fixed-wing AE doctrine.
The mission, led by the 12th Air Force South’s International Health Specialist division, was also comprised of Master Sgt. Daniel Gomez from Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.; Maj. Katherine Kasch, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas; and Anne Johnston with Global Health Engagement, Rockville, Md.