The U.S. Air National Guard 177th Medical Group (177th MDG) underwent Tactical Combat Casualty Care – Medical Provider (TCCC-MP) training at the 177th Fighter Wing Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey. The training was organized by the 177th MDG, who contacted Chris Mellish, founder of the Southern New Jersey EMS Collaborative, a nonprofit organization that provides training and education to first responders in medical, disaster, and tactical operations.
The TCCC-MP course has been heavily commended both by those teaching it and those being taught. However, this pertinent medical training is not a “one-size-fits-all” class.
“There are different levels,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Justin E. Kaenzig, the 4N functional Manager at the 177th Fighter Wing. “Particularly, we’re going through the medical provider, but there are other levels. There’s a four-hour course, an eight-hour course, a 16-hour course and a 40-hour course.”
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If the goal is to have more airmen exposed to this training, the fact that it was hosted here, at the 177th Fighter Wing, is a large step in the right direction. “The benefit of having the training here is that it increases the maximum amount of airmen who can receive it,” said Kaenzig.
The TCCC-MP isn’t just beneficial to airmen whose careers come with a medical inclination. “It really gets seen by Wing leadership,” said Kaenzig. “Other sections get to see it as well. Our fire department (177th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters) and ASOS (177th Air Support and Operations Squadron); the Fire Department is made up of first responders, and ASOS ends up in the field.”
Despite how much time this course may consume, Kaenzig believes that the knowledge should be universally taught throughout the entire U.S Air Force, including the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserves.
“I feel that when it comes to the Medical Group, and the Wing as a whole, TCCC-MP would benefit everybody, because it reinforces the Wingman concept,” said Kaenzig. “In a mass casualty situation, anyone is able to be pulled for any situation related to caring for a patient. In my opinion, this training is absolutely necessary for all airmen to know before they go into the AOR (Area of Responsibility), or combat zones in the United States.”