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ASTS conduct mass casualty training

Reserve Citizen Airmen with the 944th Aeromedical Staging Squadron worked with Arizona Air National Guard Airmen assigned to the 161st ARW to conduct the exercise.

A KC-135 boom operator with the 161st Air Refueling Wing guides a k-loader carrying Reserve Citizen Airmen and equipment during a training exercise Jan. 6, at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Reserve Citizen Airmen with the 944th Aeromedical Staging Squadron worked with Arizona Air National Guard Airmen assigned to the 161st ARW to conduct the exercise.

Reserve Citizen Airmen with the 944th Aeromedical Staging Squadron worked with Arizona Air National Guard Airmen assigned to the 161st ARW to conduct the exercise.

Reserve Citizen Airmen with the 944th Aeromedical Staging Squadron carry a simulated patient to a k-loader for transport during a training exercise Jan. 6, at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Nurses, flight doctors, and pharmacy technicians were among the squadron members who participated in the exercise.

Reserve Citizen Airmen with the 944th Aeromedical Staging Squadron worked with Arizona Air National Guard Airmen assigned to the 161st ARW to conduct the exercise.

Reserve Citizen Airmen with the 944th Aeromedical Staging Squadron prepare to carry a simulated patient onto a KC-135 Stratotanker during a training exercise Jan. 6, at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. ASTS members worked with Arizona Air National Guard Airmen from the 161st Air Refueling Wing to conduct the exercise.

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 944th Aeromedical Staging Squadron conducted training Jan. 6, 2018 at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Nurses, pharmacy technicians, and flight doctors were among the squadron members who participated in the annual mass casualty training.

Capt. Chrystina Rutter, 944th ASTS medical readiness officer, helped tailor the event to meet the squadron’s training needs.

“We took the basic skeleton from last year’s training event and built upon that,” Rutter said. “Our ultimate goal is true total force training.”

To that end, ASTS members teamed up with Arizona Air National Guard Airmen with the 161st Air Refueling Wing to conduct the training. Together, the Airmen practiced loading simulated patients onto a k-loader and transporting them to a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft.

“This was the first time (performing patient loading and unloading operations) for some of our people,” Rutter said. “I’d rather they learn in training than be thrown into a real-world situation.”

Both teams worked together seamlessly, fulfilling every training item on the agenda.

“Overall, I think their performance was very good,” said Col. Alfred Rossum, 944 ASTS commander. “I jumped in (as a simulated patient) so they could feel what it's like to carry a 215 pound man. To me, it's important to get that real-world feeling.

"The point of this training was simply exposure,” Rossum added. “It's all about coming together as a team."