366th MTF leads the way; MHAFB teaches MAJCOM medics TCCC
By Airman 1st Class Nicholas Swift, 366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published October 21, 2019
MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- From entry level Airmen at Basic Military Training all the way up to the highest levels of Air Force leadership, all Airmen must know basic wound dressing and medical care. The critical few minutes an Airman has after they’ve been wounded, means all Airmen must be ready to save a life at a moment’s notice.
“Self Aid Buddy Care was the program previously used to teach all Airmen life saving skills,” said Chief Master Sgt. Michael Waller, 366th Medical Treatment Facility superintendent. “Historically it’s been inadequate and infrequent enough to get in the repetition needed to feel comfortable at using those skills.”
The National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians Tactical Combat Casualty Care course was adopted by MHAFB medics back in February 2019.
It was then adapted into a condensed version that has since become the standard medical course for all Airmen in the 366th Fighter Wing.
The change came after Col. Joe Kunkel, former 366th FW commander, wanted to improve Gunfighters’ readiness by improving the Combat Skills Training course.
“TCCC and the way we do it here at MHAFB is designed to give more hands-on skills, making Airmen feel more comfortable in the fog of war, letting their instincts kick in to save somebody's life,” Waller said.
MHAFB’s adoption of the new medical course was quickly noticed by the Air Combat Command medical leadership.
Lt. General Dorothy Hogg, United States Air Force Surgeon General, had already issued a directive to train all ACC medics in TCCC.
After Chief Master Sergeant Bryan Cole, ACC’s aerospace medical service functional manager came to MHAFB to receive hands on experience with Gunfighter medics, 366th MTF was appointed as the training site for ACC medics to be trained on TCCC.
Medics come here to learn TCCC, then go back to their home unit to train their own medics on TCCC.
“We have a lot of the simulation capabilities and a contractor already established here so we have that opportunity already ingrained in our system,” said Lt. Col. Tracey Sapp, 366th MTF chief nurse. “It made us very integral in providing an idea to Chief Cole what would be needed to make this training possible, and give it to ACC bases.”
The Defense Health Agency recently released their tier one version of TCCC for combatants. This first step toward the Department of Defense using TCCC as a uniform standard is what MHAFB will eventually train Gunfighters on for life saving skills.
Until the DHA tier one TCCC can be rolled out DoD wide, MHAFB will continue to use and teach it’s version of TCCC to its Airmen, medics, and all ACC medics.
“We’ve provided a model that’s been successful, and reproducible,“ said Maj. Eric Young, 366th MTF education and training officer. “We’re team players, and we’re happy to share that with anybody else who is interested.”