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31st MDG hosts joint medical training with Army Garrison Bavaria instructors

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Thomas Calopedis
  • 31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The 31st Medical Group hosted a two-person instructor team from U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria, Germany for joint branch training on medical treatment processes at Aviano AB, August 25.

 Aviano AB was one of many stops for the team as they traveled outside of Germany for the first time to provide advance medical training to service members.

“We were excited because anytime you can do joint training it’s awesome,” said Sgt. 1st Class Bryan Rowland, U.S. Army Medical Department Activity Bavaria NCOIC of education and training. “Our scope of practice and the way we operate is a little different, but we work together so much when we’re deployed so having familiarity is great.”

Despite the differences between their branches, medics from both the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force found common ground from being in the same career field and working on the same training.

“Whether during training or downrange, I love working with the [U.S.] Air Force,” said Rowland. “It’s a great experience. I also love teaching and I always tell my soldiers that I’ll train anybody that shows up.”

The skills that Rowland and his teammate Dr. Jennifer Wissemann, U.S. Army Medical Department Activity Bavaria Chief of Education, teach are primarily used when deployed in a combat environment. Because of this, medics are not often able to use and practice these skills in a clinic environment.

“Being an Airman with limited experience is a big challenge,” said Airman 1st Class Justice Nerad, 31st Health Care Operations Squadron aerospace medical technician. “Getting different types of training once a month gets us that hands-on experience we need as well as a great foundation for when these situations arise.”

While the training had a trauma and pre-hospital focus, it also covered invasive and hospital focused treatment methods. One such operation they simulated was the insertion of chest tubes.

“For the chest tubes, we make an incision in between the fourth and fifth ribs, to make sure we can get in between there,” said Nerad. “We are trying to remove air or blood that’s been caught between the lung and chest wall.”

Joint training not only familiarizes different branches with each other and their differing operational procedures, it also opens participants up to new ideas and points of view.

“Sometimes, when you only work with Army or only work with Air Force, you can fall into thinking the same way,” said Rowland. “These joint relationships help us look at problems from a variety of perspectives and solve them in different ways.”

Regardless of which branch he is working with, Rowland’s favorite part of his job is the chance to educate and train medical professionals for the U.S. military.

“Training soldiers and airmen is the most rewarding for me,” said Rowland. “Everyone has experiences they can share and it’s a lot of fun. I’m very fortunate to have this opportunity.”