CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, NM —
The serene silence of the Melrose Air Force Range’s 3B training area, affectionately known as Gotham City, is shattered by automatic gunfire, booming explosions, and a cacophony of screams and cries of pain. Medics take cover from threats, while security force airmen maneuver into defensive firing positions. Smoke grenades shroud airmen to obscure movement as they respond to reports of injuries, and townspeople are screaming in their ears demanding answers. Doctors scramble to identify the victims and get them to safety as the world around them implodes into chaos.
This team is one of 16 participants in the Medic Rodeo, a competition that prepares its participants for a future war where medics must operate in degraded and geographically isolated environments, and with the possibility of multiple casualties closer to the front lines. .
This year’s Medic Rodeo, the 13th edition, hosted teams of medical professionals from Air Force bases around the world, Aug. 15-18, at Cannon Air Force Base and Melrose Air Force Range.
This is the first Medic Rodeo since 2019, following cancellation in 2020 and 2021 due to the global pandemic. For the first time, teams consisted of two emergency medical technicians, a medic, and an enlisted non-medical. This was done to incorporate MEDIC-X, a strategic initiative of the Air Force Surgeon General. This year’s Medic Rodeo demonstrated the importance and benefit of having all medics ready and available to help save lives, complete the mission faster, and get ahead of adversaries in combat.
“The goal of Medic Rodeo is to hone the skills we need in a deployed environment,” said Brig. Gen. (Dr.) Thomas W. Harrell, commander of the Air Force Medical Readiness Agency. “And with this Medic Rodeo, we’ve also engaged MEDIC-X. It’s an all-purpose airman concept within the Air Force Medical Service. The goal is that when we’re engaged in the next combat , every Medical Airman must be committed to the health care we provide in order to bring Airmen and Guardians back to the fight.
MEDIC-X is used to develop a standardized medical force with a wide range of skills common to all medical specialties, creating a ready medical force through realistic training. This ensures the development of multi-skilled physicians proficient in casualty care across the spectrum.
“I think the Medic Rodeo helps shape medics for future conflicts,” said Senior Master Sgt. Brit Adams, Joint Trauma System Air Force Service Liaison Officer, Fort Sam Houston, Texas. “Air Force Medical Service doctors meet and work in environments they don’t typically work in. The opportunity to work across a spectrum, focusing on tactical care of combat casualties at the point of injury and transitioning through the various phases of care is somewhat difficult to achieve in most military treatment facilities around the world. ‘Air Force.
Adams goes on to explain the importance of bringing together people from different career fields and different locations to respond to the new MEDIC-X initiative.
“MEDIC-X gives them the opportunity to step out of the MTF and into more of a tactical combat casualty care mentality by going through different scenarios.”
MEDIC-X focuses on improving and enhancing victim outcomes in cyber-disrupted and contested areas with limited resources, especially where medical evacuation may be delayed or compromised. Cannon and MAFR provide unique capabilities for realistic training sites to reinforce and challenge medics in a simulated deployment environment.
“I think there are two reasons to have the rodeo in Cannon,” Adams said. “First, the continuity between all supporting entities and agencies over the past 13 years. Having the expertise and knowledge of continuity certainly helps sustain the rodeo. I think the other reason is that Melrose Range provides a realistic workout location. This allows students to use their skills in environments that they are not usually used to.
After two days of relentless challenges, from treating gunshot wounds under fire to near-fatal car crashes, the team from Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., were crowned the winners of the 2022 Medic Rodeo.
“What we’re bringing is medical capability anywhere in the world in the event of an attack,” Harrell said. “And all of our doctors have to be able to do it, be confident to do it, so that our fellow Airmen and Guardians, Army, Sailors and Sailors can trust us, that if we respond, we’re going to do whatever I can to them. saving their lives and bringing them home. It’s intensely personal. It’s sacred. And it’s what we are charged to do.