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EMEDS exercise prepares GRF for emergency operations

By Airman 1st Class Alexandra Singer 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs


Joint Base Langley-Eustis’ Global Response Force Team held an Expeditionary Medical Support (EMEDS) exercise, May 6 - 10, 2019.

JBLE is the only base, state-side, that has the responsibility to determine allowance standards for building an EMEDS package. The exercise was, in part, used to validate all of the equipment and supplies that are in the packages.

The GRF team is rapidly deployable and can be tailored to provide medical support to a full range of humanitarian or emergency relief operations.

“Since we don’t necessarily know what deployed location we could potentially go to, it would depend on what humanitarian or emergency response we respond to,” said U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Jennifer Wampler, 633rd Medical Group functional manager. “This helps our team come together and understand what it’s like to work in a field environment versus a fixed facility, which is vastly different and it also creates a sense of flexibility and understanding of what type of areas you may be used to.”

The exercise also tested the group’s expeditionary skills, as mission-ready medics, by running through scenarios with live patients and mannequins.

“At first, when we started the exercise, there were some growing pains involved,” said Wampler. “Throughout the day, the roles become more understandable, and they really stepped up to the plate in terms of taking care of their patient, understanding the movement and flow of what it is to work in a field environment and they were able to accomplish any task that was thrown at them.”

It took about five months of planning to carry out such a detailed exercise, with the Medical Readiness Department playing a big part along with the 733rd Logistics Readiness Squadron and 633rd Civil Engineer Squadron.

All units involved got vital training for potential deployments or calls to help in emergency situations.

“It ensures they are familiar with the equipment and supplies they will be using downrange, and identify what limiting factors they need to be aware of and how they should resolve them,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Derek Larbie, Global Response Force commander.

The complete EMEDS package included about 98 personnel and 11 tents. Personnel included people of all specialties from dental to radiology. According to Larbie, the EMEDS set-up is light, lean and saves lives.

 “This was a great opportunity to get to know each other as members of our GRF team, exercise together as a team and know that when we are called upon to respond to any humanitarian or disaster relief, we, the 633rd Medical Group will be ready,” said Larbie.

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