Submit this form
Home News Videos Music Pictures Facebook Twitter Friends Newsletter Podcasts Mobile RSS
U.S. service members, Congo military quick-responders make final push to exercise finale

Previous article | Next

Tech. Sgt. John Orrell | AFNS - May 3, 2011

Air Force Staff Sgt. Amber Weaver, an aeromedical evacuation technician with the Wyoming Air National Guard's 187th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, conducts training to members of the Democratic Republic of the Congo?s armed forces (FARDC) quick response force (UMIR), about aircraft capabilities of the C-130 Hercules during MEDLITE 11, May 2, 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. John Orrell)
Air Force Staff Sgt. Amber Weaver, an aeromedical evacuation technician with the Wyoming Air National Guard's 187th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, conducts training to members of the Democratic Republic of the Congo's armed forces (FARDC) quick response force (UMIR), about aircraft capabilities of the C-130 Hercules during MEDLITE 11, May 2, 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. John Orrell)

After a week of classroom training, during MEDLITE 11, U.S. service members, along with members of the Democratic Republic of the Congo armed forces quick-response force, or UMIR, began training May 2 here on a C-130 Hercules.

Relocating from the Centre Superior Militaire Academy to a Congolese air force base next to N'Djili International Airport, the UMIR members began the final phase of their hands-on training before a mass-casualty exercise scheduled for May 4.

"The main goal is to get the UMIR to be able to safely aeromedical evacuate their patients from one area of need to the next," said 1st Lt. Jodi Smith, a flight nurse with the Wyoming Air National Guard's 187th Airlift Wing.

"We want to be able to see them go from just patient care to being able to bring them onto the plane and be just as knowledgeable on the plane as they are on the ground," she said.

Today's training revolved around getting the UMIR members informed and comfortable with the ground rules and safety procedures in and around a C-130, Lieutenant Smith said.

The UMIR members have not had the opportunity to work on or around a plane at all, so this is where they must learn the basics, she said.

Those basics included aircraft and flightline safety, aircraft capabilities, aircraft configuration and aircraft familiarization both inside and out.

"We are starting the practical part of the exercise now and seeing the plane for the first time," said Capt. Kawaya Tshipamba, a squad leader for an emergency evacuation medical team.

Captain Tshipamba said the training will help him and the UMIR members understand the aspects of the plane and prepare them for what they must do for the May 4 finale.

"Today, I have found many interesting characteristics about the plane that I had not thought about," he said. "The additional stress of flight, especially air pressures that may be experienced while flying, is something very interesting that I learned last week and was able to visualize today."

With temperatures near the 90-degree mark and no air conditioning in the hangar, the UMIR students still paid close attention to U.S. instructors in preparation for the exercise.

"They are still very receptive and are asking lots of good questions," said Staff Sgt. Amber Weaver, an aeromedical evacuation technician with the Wyoming ANG's 187th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron.

Sergeant Weaver, who taught the aircraft-capabilities portion of the training, said she has enjoyed the chance to share her experience from both her military and civilian life and that the UMIR members have set a good road map for success in the their future of aeromedical evacuation.

With only 2.6 percent of their gross domestic product going to the military, the DRC only has four fixed wing aircraft in their arsenal, according to Jane's World Air Force, which is an analytical reference resource for the world's air forces.

After spending time with members of the UMIR, aeromedical evacuation is something Lt. Col. Matt Peterson, the director of operations for MEDLITE 11 and the director of operations for the Minnesota ANG's 109th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, can see as a possibility in the near future for the DRC.

"They have been great to work with, and their level of medical knowledge is quite extensive ... but from an aeromedical evacuation standpoint, they're at a basic level," he said.

"But they are learning quickly, and I think before too long, we'll see them with airplanes and moving patients," Colonel Peterson said.


Related articles


  1. Kerry Calls on Kabila to Honor Constitution (May 4, 2014)
  2. Kerry in DR Congo for Security Talks (May 3, 2014)
  3. U.S. sending more personnel to Uganda to hunt LRA leader Joseph Kony (March 24, 2014)
  4. Bosco Ntaganda Attacked Civilians on Ethnic Grounds, ICC Prosecutor Says (February 10, 2014)
  5. New DR Congo amnesty law welcomed by UN envoys (February 5, 2014)
  6. Colonel Mamadou Ndala Is Killed in Ambush (January 2, 2014)
  7. No 'Peace Deal' With Defeated M23 Rebels, DR Congo Says (November 11, 2013)
  8. Congo Will Not Sign a 'Peace Deal' With Defeated M23 Rebels, Government Says (November 6, 2013)
  9. Congo Army Takes Control of Mbuzi Hill From M23 Rebels (November 4, 2013)
  10. Kabila Congratulates Congo Army for Defeating M23 Rebels (October 30, 2013)
  11. Advancing Congo Troops Take Control of Rumangabo From M23 Rebels (October 28, 2013)
  12. Congo Army Liberates Rutshuru, Kiwanja and Kibumba From M23 Rebels (October 27, 2013)
  13. Congo Army Dislodges M23 Rebels From Strategic Town of Kibumba (October 26, 2013)
  14. U.S. Sanctions Rwanda Over Use of Child Soldiers by M23 Rebels (October 4, 2013)
  15. Rwandan Support for M23 Rebels Frustrates Attempts to End Fighting in Eastern Congo (September 26, 2013)
  16. Ban Ki-moon Confirms M23 Rebels Shelled Rwanda (August 31, 2013)
  17. DR Congo Will Defend Itself Against an Attack by Rwanda, Government Says (August 31, 2013)
  18. M23 Rebels Fired Shells Into Rwanda, Not Congo Army, UN Says (August 30, 2013)
  19. Mortar Shells From Rwanda Kill Civilians in Eastern Congo (August 23, 2013)
  20. Dozens of M23 Rebels Killed by Congo Army in Renewed Fighting (August 22, 2013)
  21. UN Peacekeepers Start Enforcing Security Zone in Eastern Congo (August 1, 2013)
  22. UN Security Council debate focuses on peace efforts for Africa's Great Lakes region (July 25, 2013)
  23. M23 Rebels Said to Flee Rumangabo After Congo Army Airstrikes (July 25, 2013)
  24. Congo Army Strikes M23 Rebels Base At Rumangabo (July 24, 2013)
  25. U.S. Tells Rwanda to Remove Its Military Personel From Eastern Congo (July 23, 2013)
  26. M23 Rebels in Disarray in Eastern Congo, Says Government Spokesman (July 19, 2013)
  27. 120 M23 Rebels Killed in East, Government Says (July 15, 2013)
  28. Warlord Bosco Ntaganda Turns Himself In at US Embassy in Rwanda (March 18, 2013)
  29. Obama Tells Kagame to Stop Support for M23 Rebels in Eastern Congo (December 19, 2012)
  30. U.S. Sanctions M23 Rebel Leaders (December 18, 2012)


Live TV Congo Radio en ligne Radio
 


Make Congo Planet Your Home Page | Facebook | Twitter | Contact Us | About Us | Version en Francais | French Edition

© 2014 CongoPlanet.com. All rights reserved.