Along with a small contingent on aeromedical career field airmen, Lt Col Charles Mertz, 167th AES Chief Nurse, and Staff Sgt Loy Nelson, 167th AES aeromedical evacuation technician, gained first-hand opportunity to work though the outfitting of the aircraft, offering advice that may well be implemented in future missions for the KC-46A.
Working on the KC-46A, the Air Force’s newest refueler that is also able to provide medical transport services, presented the crew members with a chance to refresh their aeromedical mission knowledge while also enabling them to familiarise themselves with the new airframe and provide valuable feedback to the US Air Force.
“With every job, you can become complacent and things become second nature,” said Nelson. “When you go to a new aircraft and have to explain something to someone who doesn’t know your career field or what you need for your job to run it successfully, for me to be able to think back and go through the checklist and the requirements that we need to get off the ground, it was great to have a voice in that.”
Mertz added that going into the situation with an open mind was essential: “You have to solve problems and help develop new ways to solve problems that others have not thought about. You have to go with an open mind and realise that what worked in the past might not work for this new aircraft and come up with ways to solve the problem to get the mission done.”
Additional aeromedical feedback sessions and training missions are to take place in the future.