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Mountain Home AFB leans forward on MEDIC-X training for future fight

  • Published
  • By Shireen Bedi
  • Air Force Surgeon General Public Affairs

MEDIC-X training will be offered across the Air Force July 1, but several bases like Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, have already started training their medical personnel to deliver care in the future fight.

MEDIC-X is a training initiative aimed at ensuring all medical personnel have base-level clinical skills to deliver life-sustaining care in challenging deployed environments. It has already gone through successful pilot testing in 2020 at 10 bases. Since then, more Air Force bases have incorporated MEDIC-X into their military treatment facility training days.

One of the beta test sites was Mountain Home Air Force Base which rolled out MEDIC-X in April 2022. This was shortly after the commander of Air Combat Command, Gen. Mark Kelly, released his memo identifying Mountain Home as one of five lead bases to “rapidly generate combat power as a deployed force,” including building the multi-capable Airman.

“This shift takes us from a reactive force optimized for counter-insurgency ops over the past 20 years in permissive environments, to wings ready to deploy as high-performing, task-organized combat teams, and operate in a contested environment with joint and coalition partners,” Kelly said.

In addition to rolling out training, Mountain Home AFB leadership witnessed how this concept worked during their Agile Flag exercise in March, which included several teams from across the base.

“One of the things pointed out during our Agile Flag exercise by the evaluators was the medical response during a mass casualty,” said Capt. Paulo DePaula with the 366th Medical Group Agile Combat Employment Command and Control, Mountain Home AFB. “We had three Airmen trained on MEDIC-X who worked on casualties during the exercise, allowing our clinical personnel to deliver more complex care. It made it easier for our physician assistants and paramedics to go a bit further in their clinical scope knowing baseline care was getting met through MEDIC-X and how quickly the trained Airmen were able to respond.”

The aim of MEDIC-X is to build multi-capable medical Airmen who can deliver base-level, life-sustaining care no matter if they have a clinical role or not. This will become increasingly important in the context of a future conflict where resources and manning may be limited, and the ability to rely on aeromedical evacuation to move patients out or bring supplies in will be challenging.

“If you are going to have a small footprint, the more you can multiply the force through their capabilities, the better we will be,” said DePaula. “Having MEDIC-X-trained personnel will be a valuable resource to have when we are dealing with multiple casualties. Within a small medical team, with Airmen who have MEDIC-X training, then you have an opportunity to save more lives. It enables us to be a lean and agile medical force.”

“The reason we are military medics is to support the readiness of the Air Force as well as the health of our deployed members,” said Lt. Col. Jared Young, 366th Medical Group chief nurse at Mountain Home AFB. “We are not teaching these MEDIC-X skills for our home station. This is for our deployment. When something bad happens and it is an all-hands-on-deck situation, we need everyone to be an asset. The more trained hands that are aware of patient care needs and know how to perform those core clinical skills, the better our ability will be to deliver the best care possible.”