BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The Air Force has to be prepared for medical emergencies no matter where, or when, they happen. That's one reason that constant training is necessary. But, with purse strings getting tighter, Keesler Air Force Base has been coming up with creative solutions to keep training while cutting costs.
The C-130J is around 100 feet long with a wingspan that covers almost half of a football field. Usually this plane sees one training session per flight. But, Wednesday's session was different; 3 separate missions, all on the same flight.
"When we do get deployed, we do work together as one big team. Active duty, reserves, so it's very rewarding to be able to do these kind of missions," said Lieutenant Colonel Stan Martin, who served as a flight nurse for this exercise.
The Critical Care Air Transport Team, Air Evacuation, and the Hurricane Hunters all combined its training into one flight. Martin and medical technician, Megan Clifton, worked with trainees moving dummy patients from one military aircraft to the other as a part of the Air Evacuation Training.
"That's very real world realistic sometimes," said Clifton.
The medical training simulated a situation that soldiers overseas see all too often. An injured soldier is airlifted to a cargo plane, which transports the patient to a medical center.
But, the practicality of the training doesn't stop on the battlefield. Chief of Keesler Aerospace Medicine, Paul Nelson, says the techniques practiced here can be applied on our own shores.
"One of the neat parts about that, that's really exciting is that's the same capability that we have to save lives in Afghanistan, but it's the same response that we could use if, God forbid, there's another Katrina," said Nelson.
He works with the Air Force to constantly look for ways to make training better and cheaper.
"We want effective training and we want to do it in a cost conscious way," said Nelson. And these combined exercises are the result.