A three-person team from the Norwegian armed forces medical branch visited aeromedical evacuation assets assigned on Ramstein Oct. 2 to 4.
The visit helped the Norwegian team get an overview of how the U.S. Air Force’s AE and critical care
aeromedical transportation process works.
The visit was aimed at ensuring the Norwegian CCAT team is aware of current practices prior to launching their own CCAT mission later this year.
The tour included visits to see a C-130J Super Hercules in its AE configuration, seeing patients being loaded into a C-17 Globemaster III, a visit to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, a stop at the Contingency Aeromedical Staging Facility and the chance to see the 10th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron.
“Part of our mission requires us to work together with other nations, so it’s nice to have the Norwegian team here so we can learn their processes and they can learn from us,” said Master Sgt. Steven Guillen, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa AE functional area manager. “It’s important for us to know how the other operates just in case our paths cross again.”
Ramstein was chosen for the visit due to the frequency of AE movements through the area.
“We know the U.S. has a lot of patients and does this mission on a near daily basis,” said 1st Lt. Erik Holmstron, Norwegian armed forces medical branch paramedic. “Although we aren’t as busy, we want our AE and CCAT teams to be ready if the need arises.”
The three-day tour incorporated stops the Norwegian team needed to see to ensure they had all the information needed for their own CCAT team.
“The way the tour was organized showed us exactly how the process works from start to finish,” Holmstron said. “We got to see how the patients are brought here, all the way through their departure back to America.”
The tour was just as exciting for the Americans as it was for the Norwegians, said Capt. Crystal Karahan, 86th Medical Group African International Health specialist.
“We should take the time to work together if we have the capability to assist other nations build their capability,” Karahan said. “It’s awesome to see someone else get a program where they want it to be.”