RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — Ramstein medics sharpened their skills during Mobile Aeromedical Staging Facility training Aug. 2-6 at Ramstein Air Base.
Air Force Maj. Sharon Franklin, commander of Ramstein's MASF, along with a team nurses, medical technicians, communications specialists and medical administrative technicians, exercised the capabilities of Ramstein's MASF, one of only three in the U.S. European Command.
"This is a great opportunity for an Air Force medics," said Air Force Staff Sgt. Glenda Castillo, 86th Medical Group and MSAF medical technician. "We get to go out, do the job and give back every second of training we've received."
Each member of the MASF is part of an elite group of volunteers who staff positions on a two-year rotational basis. They are known as "combatant commander enablers" and are expected to deploy with only 24 hours notice.
"We do this training so we'll be ready," said Franklin. "Our mission is special and real and in the field is not the time to be training."
To ensure the readiness of the team, Ramstein's MASF brought out their equipment, including emergency medical supplies, communications equipment, tents and enough litters to support up to ten patients at a time.
But the focus of the exercise was more than just medical readiness, the 13-person crew also trained on tactics, techniques and procedures they may use during joint, multiservice, humanitarian and overseas contingency operations. The team focused on making the training opportunities as realistic as possible, from sleeping in the same tent they would use in the field and eating meals ready to eat to perimeter defense and convoy operations.
"The team is completely self-sufficient for up to five days without any required support," Franklin said. "After that point, we will need resupplied, but until then we must be able to provide our own security, feed ourselves and perform engine running on/off loads."
The enhanced skills of the MASF team are invaluable in helping enhance the survivability of expeditionary airmen, not only in times of war but also providing lifesaving care to airmen in humanitarian scenarios, even having to deliver a baby, all of these situations could be a reality for the MASF team.
"I am really excited to be a part of this team," said Air Force 1st Lt. Alice Bagby, a medical nurse who works at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center when not training or deployed with the MSAF. "Where I work at LRMC we get the patients after they have returned from action, now being a part of this team I get to be part of that action."