435th AGOW challenges medics

by Staff Sgt. Armando Schwier-Morales 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Parachuting out of a Ramstein C-130J Super Hercules is just one of the many tasks independent duty medical technician Airmen are required to do at locations throughout Europe.

At home station, these IDMT Airmen conduct tests and procedures to ensure Airmen have access to a laboratory, dentistry, pharmaceuticals, logistics, assessments, diagnostics, public health and bioenvironmental knowledge.

However, the 435th Air Ground Operations Wing has no medical group and is constantly on the move, requiring more skills from their IDMTs.

“I think the (435th Contingency Response Group) is by far the best IDMT job you can get!” said Tech. Sgt. Jack Williams, 435th Contingency Response Support Squadron IDMT. “We have a very unique mission rarely seen in the Air Force, so it’s not only challenging as an IDMT but also exciting.”

IDMTs must be able to provide medical assistance to members of the 435th CRG, whose mission is to open, build and maintain a base. A variety of career fields jump alongside defenders to secure and establish a working airfield. The IDMTs must be able to set up a one or two-man clinic capable of handling most medical needs.

“It’s extremely exciting to jump out of an airplane alongside other CRG members; it’s one of the best memories I have,” said Tech. Sgt. Jose Obregon, 435th CRSS IDMT. “We all bring unique traits to make the CRG mission happen.”

For 435th CRG IDMTs to complete their mission, they must pass a rigorous course, said Obregon. The courses include the IDMT schooling and training conducted with the 435th AGOW. They must also be able to parachute in with the first responding forces.

Yet their training is not complete. Airmen from the 86th Medical Group train the IDMTs on their medical specialties. This is to ensure they understand medical knowledge outside their career field.

“I am very grateful for the Airmen of the 86th MDG,” Obregon said. “I have been thousands of miles away trying to heal an injured guy, and the MDG is always available when I need them.”

Whether it’s training or helping Airmen in Africa or Europe, Obregon said his time with the 435th CRG and experiences as an IDMT have been great, and he recommends it to medical Airmen looking for a challenge.