By Lt. Col. Kimberly Lalley, 514th Air Mobility Wing
/ Published June 20, 2019
Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Lisa-Marie Sasseville, a hospital corpsman dental hygienist, tends to a patient at a makeshift clinic in Burke County High School, Waynesboro, Ga. Service members from the Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard and Air Force are participating in East Central Georgia Innovative Readiness Training 2019 from June 15 to 22, 2019, at locations throughout east central Georgia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Lt. Col. Kimberly Lalley)
More than 100 Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard, Air Force and Navy Reserve service members are in east central Georgia supporting innovative readiness training, known as ECG IRT, providing medical services in five underserved communities. IRTs are joint-service training missions which increase deployment readiness while providing key services (health care, construction, transportation, and cybersecurity) that make a difference in American communities.
Sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, this IRT is an Air Force Reserve-led multi service/component training event intended to build mutually beneficial partnerships between the U.S. Department of Defense and local communities. The mission provides service members with hands-on readiness training opportunities, while providing direct and lasting benefits to residents of each community served.
From June 15 to 22, nearby east central Georgia residents can receive free dental care, health checks and eye exams.
Air Force Reserve Lt. Col. Aly Eisenhardt, the officer in charge of ECG IRT 2019, made use of training opportunities from day one. Service members from 31 states and Washington D.C., gathered at Warren County High School, Warrenton, Georgia. Everyone started at the same location and were housed based on their clinic location. Eisenhardt said she designed the initial training to build camaraderie. She purposely filled an eight-hour day with training on the front end to set the tone, increase effectiveness and build morale.
ECG IRT 2019 supports five different locations with leadership established at each locale. There are myriad opportunities to train and flex leadership skills while perfecting one’s military specialty. Service members must maintain a constant state of readiness and, in return, their training can benefit various communities.
For some this is their first IRT, for others they return each year. Navy Reserve Capt. McAlpine is a nurse and the officer in charge at the clinic located in Louisville Academy, Louisville, Georgia. This is her first IRT but she plans to do more.
“I’ve enjoyed the people I’ve worked with,” McAlpine said. “The community appreciates us.”
Navy Reserve Petty Officer 1st Class Lisa-Marie Sasseville, a hospital corpsman dental hygienist, said she finds it very rewarding to train in her specialty. This is her third IRT and she said she finds the patients she serves more appreciative then those she interacts with at her civilian job.