US AF trains Chilean AF critical care

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Medical health officers from the Chilean Air Force visited the U.S. Air Force 59th Medical Wing on Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in December, to gain a better understanding of Critical Care Air Transportation Teams (CCATTs).

CCATTs operate an intensive care unit in an aircraft cabin during flight, adding critical care capability to the U.S. Air Force Aeromedical Evacuation System.

Each CCATT carries roughly 560 pounds of gear, enough to continue the level of acute care for three critically ill patients up to 24 hours. CCAT teams also support the peacetime movement of critically ill beneficiaries of the military health care system, and humanitarian assistance such as airplane crashes and natural disasters.

“Our goal is to bring our CCAT Teams up to the same critical care standards as the U.S.,” said Lt. Col. Claudio Montiglio, Chilean Air Force medical health officer. “In the future, we hope we can partner with the U.S. This visit will give us a better idea of how we can improve and how we can better train our people to see an impact in the real world.”

The visit began with the Chileans touring Wilford Hall’s Simulation Center, which provides a hands-on learning environment through the use of high-fidelity mannequins and virtual reality simulators, before visiting Camp Bramble, the CCATT training and mission staging location.

“On the next battlefield, you never know who our partners are going to be, so if we are able to train their medical personnel up to the same level as our medical personnel, then we can work hand-in-hand,” said Maj. Shane Runyon, En Route Critical Care Pilot Unit manager. “Medical personnel on the battlefield (are) a limited supply, and being able to trust our partners to be able to treat service members at the same level as we would means we would have more options.”

Currently, the Air Force CCAT teams are assisting the countries of Georgia, Turkey, Columbia, Bangladesh and Mexico in developing similar programs.

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